Itamar Ben Gvir
Itamar Ben GvirYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Haaretz published an editorial Friday morning criticizing the Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, for his policy of distributing firearms and establishing hundreds of civilian emergency squads throughout Israel.

The editorial claimed "In less than 2 months, the National Security Ministry has approved more than 25,000 firearms purchase requests, as well as 145,000 before the massacre, not including firearms already in possession of security forces."

"Ben-Gvir is taking advantage of the vacuum to create so-called 'emergency squads' which are walking about armed without any supervision, and arming the public as well."

The editorial ends with criticism of the appointment of Ben-Gvir as National Security Minister, and for giving him the powers he has: "The danger in giving this portfolio to a convicted criminal is no longer speculative, it is real. The writing is on the wall in blood."

The editorial comes on the heels of a Knesset deliberation in which members of Knesset complained that Ben-Gvir's staff had distributed firearms and licenses without permission.

During the meeting, it was revealed that the state ombudsman had forbidden Ben-Gvir's staff from dealing with firearms licensing requests.

The National Security Ministry's legal advisor commented during the deliberations: "Girl doing national service were given authority as firearms officials for half a year. Knesset employees who helped to check documents were not."

MKs are demanding to cancel the licenses that were issued and open a criminal investigation against the minister and his staff for the malicious misuse of their public office.

Minister Ben-Gvir defended the policy Thursday during a press conference at the scene of a deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem: "We have a strong army and police, but they can't be everywhere. We have seen repeatedly that armed civilians can save lives."