Israeli police carried out the country’s largest-ever operation against illegal weapons sales overnight, breaking up a massive gun-running network.
Some 1,600 police officers were involved in the operation, which spanned 25 towns and cities across northern and central Israel.
A total of sixty-five suspects were arrested in the operation, which netted numerous illegal firearms.
Police say the suspects taken into custody include some of the most important gun smugglers and illegal weapons dealers in the country.
The operation was made possible by the cooperation of a police agent who had served a prison sentence for prior involvement in organized crime.
Over the past year, the agent purchased 40 rifles from Arab weapons dealers, along with two machine guns, two explosive devices, and large quantities of ammunition during 48 different purchases, spending some four million shekels.
The agent’s work has led to the indictment of 78 gun dealers.
Authorities believe that the majority of the illegal weapons were smuggled into Israel from Judea and Samaria, Jordan, and Lebanon, while some of the weapons are believed to have been stolen from IDF bases.