With the help of K-9 unit search dogs, Israeli police located a large cache of weapons and ammunition hidden under a trap door in the northern city of Shfaram, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.
The hidden arsenal included 40 grenades, stun grenades, thousands of rounds of ammunition, cartridges, bulletproof vests, and combat gear.
The raid was part of a larger police effort to fight crime in the Arab sector in general and the extensive illegal weapons trade in particular. Shfaram is a mixed city of Christians, Muslims and Druse, with a population of around 40,000.
After the raid, Insp. Gen Roni Alsheikh said that police are seeking to improve relations with Israeli-Arab communities. “The police are in the midst of a broad initiative to enhance public trust and confidence in Arab society at all aspects of police and law enforcement,” he stated.
In July, 63 people were arrested in the Israeli-Arab region known as the Triangle, for illegal weapons and drug trafficking after a yearlong undercover sting operation.
According to 2015 police figures, 59 percent of murders in the country take place in the Arab sector even though Arab-Israelis only make up 21 percent of the population.
In March, 2 billion shekels were allocated over the next five years for better law enforcement in the Arab communities.