The former Minister of National Infrastructure, Housing, and Construction made a bombshell announcement last week to Yisrael Hayom. Effi Eitam, who also served as a Brigadier general in the IDF, said that he suspects that “Israeli-Arabs are building an army.”
“They have guns in their homes and they are training” he explained.
Eitam’s statement was released on August 12. On August 15, it was reported that Jewish Israelis applying for gun licenses rose by 500%.
The process involving obtaining a gun license in Israel involves several regulatory measures including providing approval from a physician as well as authorized weapons training. Unlike many places in America, the right to self-defense isn’t enough to obtain a firearm. Rather those who live or work Judea or Samaria, serve in the security forces (or the police, the Shin Bet, airport security, etc.) or who need to carry a weapon in their line of work (a security guard, a tour guide, a certified farmer, an explosives carrier, a shooting instructor) are allowed to obtain a license.
Since the beginning of the Arab riots in mixed Arab-Jewish cities like Lod, Ramla, and Acco, 10,580 new gun license applications have been filed, a 500% rise from the average amount of new applications for the same period prior to the riots, according to a report in Makor Rishon.
Jewish Israelis interviewed in the Makor Rishon article touched on the failure of the police to safeguard them during the riots, seemingly realizing that they’ll need to take matters into their own hands.
Back in May, Israel365 News reported that due to police apathy against violent Arab riots in Lod, vigilantes from Judea-Samaria deployed to the area to help restore order.