MKs Demands Gun Rights for Yesha

After terrorists murdered Yitzchak Imas, whose gun had been confiscated from him by police, MKs demand new regulations for weapon confiscation.

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 5:27 PM

Yitzchak and Tali Imas
Yitzchak and Tali Imas
Israel news photo: Emanuel Maimon

Following the drive-by terrorist murder two weeks ago of Yitchak Imas, whose gun was confiscated by police several weeks ago, and three other people, the Knesset Interior Committee held a stormy session today in which MKs demanded that Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria be allowed to defend themselves.

The committee, by majority vote, resolved to recommend to Interior Minister Eli Yishai and to Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch, who oversees the police force, to ease the regulations on bearing weapons for the Jews of Judea and Samaria. The committee asked that Aharonovitch report back on the steps being taken to this end, and to investigate why the weapon of Yitzchak Imas was not returned to him in time for him to possibly use it to save his life.

Some committee members suggested that any resident whose weapon is taken from him be entitled to a hearing.

MK Chaim Amsalem (Shas) said afterwards, “The situation is absolutely unacceptable. The Interior Ministry blames the police, and the police blame the State Prosecution, and the Prosecution blames the Interior Ministry. Those who confiscate residents’ weapons that are designated for self-defense cannot say that they are blameless; it places them in danger of their lives every day – for no reason. We have to work together to change this.”

MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said, “Today’s session showed perfectly clearly that the police violates the law and needlessly harass the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. One arrogant policeman tried to justify his actions by telling the committee how he endangers himself for Israel – what type of hypocrisy is that? Everyone in Israel endangers himself! He acts cruelly with the Jewish residents and expects a reward?! They harass army veterans, and Yitzchak Imas, and others – there are many specific cases in which weapons were confiscated for no reason, simply because of Prosecutor Shai Nitzan… This situation must be changed, and today’s session was the beginning.”

MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud): "I suggest that the Interior Ministry conduct an immediate investigation why the police violated the law and did not allow an appeal of the confiscation of Yitzchak Imas’ gun within the time set by the law. I also think that the regulations should be changed, and police should not be allowed to take away weapons unless they can prove clearly that there is a reason to do so. The presumption of innocence for these residents who endanger themselves daily must be maintained.”

Orit Strook of Hevron, who chairs the Yesha Civil Rights Organization, said after the session, “It was unbelievable to hear today that a representative of the Justice Ministry said that it’s not so bad that the police did not act within the law… It is criminal to leave the responsibility for the Yesha residents’ lives in the hands of these people… Shai Nitzan makes sure to open criminal files against residents over nothing – alleged insults to a public servant, or anti-Disengagement protests, and for this the police don’t allow a person to defend himself?!”