IDF seizes M16 rifles in West Bank raids
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IDF seizes M16 rifles in West Bank raids

Since start of the year, security forces confiscate 220 firearms, shutter 25 gun-making workshops

A M16 rifle and a homemade gun found by the IDF during raids in the West Bank on August 28, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson)
A M16 rifle and a homemade gun found by the IDF during raids in the West Bank on August 28, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson)

The Israel Defense Forces seized a number of M16 rifles during raids throughout the West Bank early Monday.

One M16 was found in a home in the Jerusalem-area Palestinian town of Abu Dis, while another, together with a homemade gun, was found in the northern West Bank village of Bir al-Basha, the army said.

The IDF had previously found an M16 and a pair of M4 carbines during operations in the West Bank over the past week.

The army said it has confiscated 220 illegal firearms in the West Bank since the start of the year and shut down 25 gun workshops.

Pieces of an M16 rifle found by the IDF during raids in the West Bank on August 28, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson)
Pieces of an M16 rifle found by the IDF during raids in the West Bank on August 28, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson)

Over the past two years, the military has been cracking down on the illegal weapons trade, arresting gun dealers and shuttering suspected workshops where firearms are believed to be manufactured in the West Bank.

These improvised weapons, often referred to as Carlo rifles, are comparatively cheap to produce and therefore plentiful in the West Bank. Mass produced, superior guns, like the M-4 or M-16 assault rifles, are far more difficult to obtain and are thus far more expensive, often costing tens of thousands of shekels.

During the raids, the IDF also arrested eight Palestinians on suspicion of violent rioting and “popular terror,” a term used by the army to denote acts such as rock-throwing and rioting.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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