Terrorist organizations in the areas of Judea and Samaria controlled by the Palestinian Authority are having trouble obtaining weapons, the IDF said on Thursday.
According to information obtained by Israel’s defense establishment, due to the lack of weapons, the price of an M-16 rifle in Judea and Samaria today is 60 to 70 thousand NIS per unit.
“The problem is that this situation encourages criminal elements in Israel to invest in stealing weapons and selling them to terrorists,” said sources in the IDF who added that most of the weapons in the hands of terrorists are ones that have been stolen, mostly by gangs that specialize in doing this. However, some of the weapons stolen from Jewish communities in Judea and Samara were captured by the IDF, and the Palestinian Authority has returned to the IDF many of the weapons it has found in the hands of captured terrorists.
“Anyone who wants to commit a terrorist attack has to work very hard to acquire weapons,” said a senior defense official on Thursday. “The weapons in the PA are under tight security, even more than inside Israel. There are no personal weapons inside homes there. All the guns are locked in secure areas. Security forces take the weapons along when they are on duty and return them at the end of their shift.”
The IDF sources pointed out that Hamas in Judea and Samaria is suffering from financial difficulties which make it difficult for it to operate. They added that this is thanks in part to joint activities with the PA which target Hamas funds.
“We know clearly about terrorist attacks that are not carried out due to financial constraints,” said a senior military source.