Police confiscated thousands of illegal firecrackers and dangerous toys, among them devices with laser beams, along with smoke bombs and “Roman candle” fireworks. The items were seized at a warehouse in Beitar Ilit, hours before they were to be distributed to stores in chareidi neighborhoods for sale before Purim.
The owner of the warehouse has been detained. The penalties for trafficking in items such as these is a fine of nearly NIS 30,000 per illegal item, or a year in prison.
Police in recent weeks have conducted numerous similar raids in an attempt to remove from the market as many of the illegal toys and firecrackers as possible before Purim. Police said that at this time of year there are inevitably incidents in which an unsuspecting individual – often a child – is injured by a toy with sharp edges or other dangerous features, or by firecrackers that explode in their hands. Also illegal are toy guns and other weapons that look disturbingly like the real thing. In the past, such items have been used by criminals to commit robberies and other crimes.
Chagai Zamir, head of enforcement in the Economy Ministry, said that it was up to adults to ensure the safety of children. “I call on parents, teachers and youth group leaders to do everything they can to uproot this phenomenon of use of dangerous toys and explosives,” he said in a media statement.