Israel Police arrested seven Bedouin men and charged them on Wednesday with stealing millions of shekels of ammunition from an army base in the Negev.
A joint investigation conducted by the Shin Bet security service, Israel Police, and Military Police found that the suspects stole over 3,000 tank shells and an unspecified amount of sub-machine gun ammo over six months. The total value of the missing weaponry is estimated at NIS 23 million, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
According to the charge sheet filed at the Beersheba District Court, the accused repeatedly broke into the base by cutting wire fencing and pilfered ammunition. The stolen goods were then sold for scrap metal.
An IDF source said that the stolen shells are low-grade explosives typically used in training exercises.
Attorney David Yiftach, legal counsel for one of the accused, said, “The IDF is the guilty party. We are talking about millions of shekels of metal scattered around the Negev with no one taking responsibility for it.”