by Mark Schwendau
Following the unprecedented Hamas terrorist attack on civilians in Israel on October 7, which targeted the elderly, women, children, and even babies, Israel has loosened its gun laws and is distributing firearms to civilians. While the body count is constantly changing, as of this writing, the number of victims of this terrorist attack is over 1,300, which includes at least 27 American citizens.
The Times of Israel reported on October 10 that National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir announced a plan to arm civilian security teams in towns near Israel’s borders. This report offered the Ministry of National Security “is purchasing 10,000 rifles to arm civilian security teams, specifically those in towns close to Israel’s borders around the country, as well as mixed Jewish-Arab cities and West Bank settlements.”
This ministry also intends to provide these civilian teams with bulletproof vests and helmets. Mr. Gvir said, “We will turn the world upside down so that towns are protected. I have given instructions for massively arming the civilian security teams to provide solutions for towns and cities and so as not to leave towns unprotected.”
The Times of Israel wrote:
“Approximately three years ago, the (Israel Defense Force) IDF began taking away firearms from some of these security teams due to the repeated theft of such weapons.
“Hebrew news outlets reported about the problem back in 2021, and members of some of the teams have told the media in the last few days that they were essentially unarmed during Hamas’s invasion.
“Members of such a team told the Calcalist newspaper on Sunday that they had engaged Hamas terrorists armed with just pistols, while the terrorists bore assault rifles, grenades, and anti-tank missiles.
‘The IDF took our rifles recently. They left us with just a few. We repelled a Hamas commando terror cell with just pistols,’ one said.”
Besides formal efforts by the Israeli government to get firearm protection into citizens’ hands, there has also been renewed interest in private firearm acquisitions for those not members of the aforementioned security teams.
On October 11, the Jerusalem Post ran an article titled, “Nearly 8,000 Israelis request firearm licenses amid Hamas war.” In response to the high demand, the National Security Ministry is increasing the staff at its firearm licensing department to review applicants more rapidly. The Post noted that Gvir is making obtaining firearm licenses easier for civilians.
The Jerusalem Post outlet reported:
“According to the ministry’s updated conditions, any Israeli citizen interested in obtaining a permit, either for self-defense or because they are serving in the IDF, will be entitled to a gun license, provided that they have medical approval, police approval, and passed the exams for carrying private firearms.”
The Jerusalem Post noted, “Those interested will only have to undergo a quick phone interview, rather than having to appear in person, after which the permit will be issued within a week’s time.”
Gvir said, “Every city resident will be able to get an armament license… We are facing Operation Guardian of the Walls 2, so we will be ensuring that we are prepared, with guns on every street corner.”
The American firearm news outlet, The Reload, reported two other key changes to Israel’s firearm licensing rules.
- One “allows anyone who had a permit to purchase a firearm in 2023 but didn’t do so before the license expired to buy a gun without going through the process.”
- Two, “another 1,800 citizens would also be allowed to retrieve a gun they were forced to give up in the last six months because the owner didn’t get ‘refresher training or renewal training.’”
News outlets worldwide reported the story of Inbar Lieberman, the 25-year-old security coordinator at Kibbutz Nir Am, which was attacked near Gaza. An account of her actions offered in the New York Post explained after she realized the kibbutz was under attack, she “rushed to open the armory, distributed guns to the 12-member security team, and coordinated their decisive response amid the unfolding attack.”
The article reported that she placed her security squad of kibbutzniks in strategic positions across the settlement and set up ambushes that caught the Hamas terrorists off guard during their mission.
Lieberman killed five terrorists herself while others of the dozen gunned down 20 more over four hours as they turned Nir Am into an impenetrable fortress while other nearby kibbutzim suffered heavy losses.
It was from the dead bodies of these terrorists that written plans of the terrorist attack included attacking soft targets such as schools to kill and/or kidnap children to take back to Gaza.
We thank the National Rifle Association’s Institute of Legislative Action, which provided much of the information for this article.
As a point of reference, about 2% of the population in Israel own guns compared to about 30% of the population owning a gun in the US.
Copyright © 2023 by Mark S. Schwendau
Mark S. Schwendau is a retired technology professor who has always had a sideline in news-editorial writing where his byline has been, “Bringing little known news to people who simply want to know the truth.” His website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech.