IDF providing thousands of weapons to first-response teams in communities

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

The IDF says it has said it has started to distribute thousands of firearms to civilian security teams and defense networks around the country to bolster the security protection of small towns and communities.

“The territorial defense officers in the IDF and the Home Front Command maintain regular dialogue with the heads of regional councils and their security officers,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit says.

“The IDF will continue to reinforce and strengthen the settlements with military equipment in order to provide optimal protection and a sense of security to all residents throughout the country,” it adds.

Earlier on Tuesday, the National Security Ministry which has authority over the Israel Police announced it had purchased 10,000 assault rifles also for the use of civilian security teams.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that both the army and the ministry were distributing weapons to the civilian service teams, but did not immediately say whether they had coordinated the distribution campaign.

Over the past three years, the IDF has taken away assault rifles from civilian service teams due to the repeated theft of such weapons, but this left some squads defenseless in the face of Hamas’s savage attack on Saturday.

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