IDF busts large gun-smuggling operation in southern West Bank
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In separate raid, army nabs suspected serial firebomber

IDF busts large gun-smuggling operation in southern West Bank

Soldiers arrest six Palestinian suspects; seize seven guns, four commando knives and thousands of bullets

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Guns, bullets and military equipment seized by Israeli soldiers in a pre-dawn raid in the village of Deir Razih, southwest of Hebron, on February 8, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)
Guns, bullets and military equipment seized by Israeli soldiers in a pre-dawn raid in the village of Deir Razih, southwest of Hebron, on February 8, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops broke up a large gun-smuggling ring in the southern Hebron Hills early Thursday morning, arresting six suspects and seizing guns, knives and ammunition, the army said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the weapons were discovered inside a compound in the village of Deir Razih, southwest of Hebron.

“This was a compound that belongs to a weapons dealer who was arrested at the scene, along with five other suspects who were handed over to [the Shin Bet security service] for interrogation,” the army said in a statement.

The soldiers seized four handguns, three air-powered guns, four commando knives, thousands of bullets and military equipment such as harnesses, holsters, gun mounts and ammunition clips.

In a separate predawn raid, in the al-Fawar refugee camp in the central West Bank, Israeli troops arrested a Palestinian man suspected of throwing 24 Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers last month, the army said.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, the IDF detained eight other Palestinians suspected by the military of taking part in clashes with soldiers or throwing rocks at Israeli civilians.

“The suspects and evidence have been handed over to security forces for investigation,” the army said.

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