Israel to stop confiscating guns of settlers who shoot at Palestinians: report

Israel to stop confiscating guns of settlers who shoot at Palestinians: report
The new policy intends to encourage Israeli settlers who live illegally on Palestinian land to bear arms and use them, according to Israel's Channel 12.

1 min read
09 July, 2023
Israeli authorities often turn a blind eye to the excesses of Jewish settlers [Getty]

Israeli authorities will no longer confiscate the guns of settlers who shoot at suspected Palestinian attackers following new measures introduced on Saturday by hardline National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

The new policy intends to encourage Israeli settlers who live illegally on Palestinian land to bear arms and use them, according to Israel's Channel 12.

Under the previous policy, settlers who shot at Palestinians if they suspected "an attack" would have their weapons confiscated for investigation and would be probed, sometimes under caution.

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The new policy has raised fears that trigger-happy settlers will be emboldened to attack and kill Palestinians.

Settlers often carry out attacks on Palestinians on their property, with Israeli forces often turning a blind eye or providing cover for their crimes.

Ben-Gvir has pushed to expand gun ownership among Israelis, who are generally only granted gun licences if they can prove the need for extra security or if they need it for their line of work. 

In recent months, some 22,000 Israelis have applied for gun licenses, with 18,000 of those applications having been approved, according to Channel 12.