4 Palestinians arrested for breaking into IDF base in south

M-16 rifle ammunition, night-vision goggles and radios seized from suspects who had illegally entered Israel

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Ammunition, military equipment stolen from an army base, February 22, 2022 (Israel Police)
Ammunition, military equipment stolen from an army base, February 22, 2022 (Israel Police)

Four Palestinians were arrested overnight Monday for allegedly attempting to steal military equipment from a training zone in southern Israel.

According to police, after a series of break-ins at army bases in the south in recent weeks, undercover officers as well as the police drone unit were deployed to the area.

Border Police officers spotted the four entering a military base on a motorcycle, and saw them stealing ammunition from a shooting range, police said.

Police said the men, residents of the West Bank town of Idhna who had illegally entered Israel, were caught “red-handed” after a brief chase.

Ammunition for an M-16 rifle, night-vision goggles, radios, burglary equipment, as well as the stolen motorcycle they used to break into the base were seized, police said.

The suspects were being interrogated, the police said.

Military equipment stolen from an army base, February 22, 2022 (Israel Police)

Military bases are regularly burgled. Last November the IDF changed its open-fire policies to allow soldiers to use deadly force to stop thieves.

While a military probe denied a connection between the new firing policies and the death of two officers from a commando unit in a so-called friendly fire accident in the Jordan Valley last month, the misunderstanding came one night after someone broke into the nearby base and stole military equipment from it.

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