The minister directed the Arms Licensing Department to speed up the issuance of new licenses from about 2,000 a month to 10,000
Israel’s hard-line National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir vowed today to increase gun permits fivefold in the wake of last month’s deadly attack outside a synagogue in which people were killed.
In a statement from Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party, it is reported that the minister instructed the Department of Weapons Licenses to speed up the issuance of new licenses from about 2,000 a month to 10,000.
Armed civilians with open pistols in holsters on their hips and off-duty soldiers with their service weapons are a common sight in Israel and Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, but Ben-Gvir vowed to drastically increase the number of permits after the attack on January 27 in a synagogue by a Palestinian gunman.
A day after the attack, a 13-year-old Palestinian opened fire on a group of bystanders in Jerusalem’s Silwan district, injuring two before an armed civilian returned fire, wounding him.
Israeli ministers have cited civilian action in support of plans to expand gun ownership, but last week United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk warned that the plans would only lead to more violence and bloodshed.
Many Israelis are familiar with guns through the country’s near-universal mandatory military service, but those who wish to own a gun as citizens must meet certain strict government requirements.
In most cases, only handguns are allowed and the granting of a firearms license is conditional on the completion of firearms training.
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