IDF finds pistol, arrests eight in overnight West Bank raids
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IDF finds pistol, arrests eight in overnight West Bank raids

Army uncovers ammunition, sniper scope in village near Nablus; 8 detainees suspected of taking part in riots

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

A pistol found by IDF troops during a raid of a house in the northern West Bank village of Asira ash-Shamaliya on June 5, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
A pistol found by IDF troops during a raid of a house in the northern West Bank village of Asira ash-Shamaliya on June 5, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Israeli troops found a pistol, boxes of ammunition and sniper scopes in a house in a northern West Bank village early Monday morning, the army said.

The soldiers arrested the two Palestinians who were in possession of the firearm in Asira ash-Shamaliya, outside of Nablus.

In addition to the pistol, a 9mm Czech model known as a CZ 75, the army found bullets and ammunition magazines for assault rifles, as well as two sniper scopes, the army said.

The weaponry was confiscated for further examination, the military said.

For the past year and a half, the IDF has been cracking down on the black market for guns in the West Bank. The army has focused its attention on local weapons production, specifically the manufacturing of Carlo-style submachine guns, a jury-rigged gun cobbled together out of water pipes and parts from other guns.

Bullets, ammunition magazines and sniper scopes found by IDF troops during a raid of a house in the northern West Bank village of Asira ash-Shamaliya on June 5, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Bullets, ammunition magazines and sniper scopes found by IDF troops during a raid of a house in the northern West Bank village of Asira ash-Shamaliya on June 5, 2017. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

From January to May, the army seized approximately 150 firearms in the West Bank and raided 20 workshops where the military believes guns were being manufactured.

According to a senior intelligence officer, this effort has quintupled the price of Carlo-style submachine guns in the West Bank from what it was in 2015 and raised the cost of conventional, factory-made weapons as well, though to a lesser extent.

During the overnight raids between Sunday and Monday, six other Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank on suspicion that they threw rocks or took part in violent protests, according to the military.

Two were arrested in the Jalazoun refugee camp, near Ramallah; one person was picked up in Kafr Aqab, north of Jerusalem; another two were arrested in the Bethlehem-area villages of al-Rashayida and Teqoa (the Palestinian village located next to the Israeli settlement of the same name); and one person was detained in the village of Dahariya, near Hebron.

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