The IDF has conducted a large-scale operation in Judea and Samaria against illegal weapons production plants. These plants have on many occasions served armed terrorists who attacked Israeli targets in these areas.
During the course of last night (Tuesday), a joint operation of the Judea and Samaria brigade, the Shin Bet, and police forces was launched against the weapons production and distribution infrastructure in the area of Bethlehem and Hevron.
The operation was the most extensive action taken against weapons production and distribution during the past year and involved confiscation of large quantities of weapons and arrests of weapon distributors.
"The arms are smuggled in to the area from all kinds of places including Jordan" said a senior officer in the brigade. "Most of the terror attacks are perpetrated using local weaponry so we decided to deal with this issue since it is becoming more extensive."
The IDF quickly concluded that the Arabs are orchestrating an entire ring of illegal weapon production. "It begins with the manufacturers who have entire manufacturing processes, and continues via distributors to those who are in possession of the illegal weapons themselves."
In tens of investigations of shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria over the past few years it became apparent that the weapons were not acquired for the attack itself but in the end they served the terrorists and therefore it was necessary to target this industry.
"We used all kinds of intelligence methods which involved all the intelligence services" said the senior officer. "We don't go searching houses for weapons but rather use a wide range of intelligence tactics. This is how we found thirty weapon manufacturing facilities in the area."
During the course of the operation seven factories which manufactured hundreds of arms which had already been distributed were located and closed. The forces also confiscated seven rifles, thirty nine pistols and many items used to manufacture weapons.
The operation which lasted for a few hours commenced at 1:30 P.M. and there were some disturbances during the course of it. During the operation two Arabs who owned large facilities were arrested for further investigation "which will lead to more arrests", said army officials.