Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan plans to institute an accelerated program that will allow all agriculture workers to receive gun licenses, in order to be able to arm themselves. The plan is one method by which the government plans to battle the increased level of property crimes against farmers.
The law’s roots stretch to an incident several years ago in which a farmer in southern Israel shot and killed an Arab whom he witnessed stealing his sheep. The farmer was acquitted of murder charges after a long, drawn-out trial. The new law will institutionalize the right of farmers to open fire at thieves if they cannot protect their property or persons in any other way. The law would apply equally to Jewish and Arab farmers.
In addition to the easing of licensing, Erdan will allocate millions of shekels to increase patrols and security, especially in areas that have been plagued by agricultural theft. In addition, Border Guard units will undergo special training to enable them to better defend farmers.
“Unfortunately, farmers over the past year especially have felt very vulnerable because of the high level of theft, as well as because of terror attacks aimed at them,” said Erdan. “My plan will provide local and regional authorities with a number of tools to protect agricultural settlements, and will enable farmers to feel more secure.”