Israeli security forces raided seven illegal Palestinian weapons mills in the Hebron and Bethlehem area on Monday night, in the largest crackdown of its kind over the last year.
The raids were carried out by five IDF battalions, the military’s Judea and Samaria Division, the Shin Bet security agency and the Judea and Samaria District Police in an effort to root out illegal weapons production and trading.
IDF and Border Police troops found 22 lathes in seven separate weapons factories. Dozens of firearms, weapons parts and cartridges were also uncovered in the operation. The lathes and weapons found were seized by security forces.
Two suspects were arrested in connection to production and trade of weapons. One of the suspects is believed to be a top weapons dealer in the area. He is currently being held by the Shin Bet for questioning.
Some of the guns found in the raid were foreign models while others were made in the increasingly sophisticated local weapons mills. Along with the firearms, security forces found stolen bullets, knives, handcuffs, nunchucks, flak jackets and American army uniforms, according to Israeli media reports.