IDF Shuts Down 3 Illegal Arms Workshops

IDF soldiers seal off a workshop suspected of being used to manufacture weapons, Wednesday. (IDF Spokesperson)

The IDF announced Wednesday that it had raided and shut down three arms workshops in Yehudah and Shomron overnight Tuesday. The three were operating in the Chevron area, and were responsible for “a large amount” of weapons production, the IDF said in a statement. One of the workshops was shut down and sealed in a raid overnight Tuesday, while the other two will meet the same fate later Wednesday.

The workshops included several large metal cutting machines, along with dozens of weapons in various stages of manufacture. Many of the shooting attacks that have taken place over the past year were carried out with weapons manufactured in workshops such as these, the army said. Among the weapons seized in whole or in parts were shotguns, rifles, handguns and parts for M-16 machine guns. Also seized were weapons used by sharpshooters, with a range of 600 meters. Large amounts of ammunition were also seized.

In 2016, the IDF shut down 43 such workshops, seizing nearly 500 weapons that were made in the workshops, the army said. So far in 2017, 12 such workshops have been shut down.

Overnight Tuesday, security officials said they arrested six wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.