IDF NCO, 3 others charged with selling weapons to Palestinians
Thousands of bullets, weapon parts stolen from base; unknown if terrorist groups got hold of weapons.
Four men, including an Israel Defense Forces non-commisioned officer, were indicted Thursday in Nazareth Magistrate's Court for selling weapons to Palestinians in the West Bank.
The court lifted the two-month gag order on the case, revealing that 16 additional IDF soldiers have been questioned, 10 of whom will stand trial in IDF military courts.
During the course of the investigation, headed by Amakim police officer Ami Mualem, it was revealed that Ilut resident Arkaan Bashir, 29, a IDF non-commissioned officer who serves as an army vehicle inspector, stole guns and ammunition from his base.
According to investigators, an arms dealer from the West Bank would order weapons from Bashir, who would then ask soldiers from his base to obtain and relay him the goods.
Bashir's brother Ahmed, along with Abu Ayish, both of Ilut were also charged, along with Kafr Kana resident Nasser Hatib.
Amakim District Police Chief Zohar Dvir said "the suspect went through prolonged questioning which led to the exposure of the network."
Both the IDF and the Shin Bet took part in the investigation, which led to the arrest of Ahmed Buz, a resident of Tul Karm who purchased the weapons, including thousands of bullets and weapon parts.
The police say they still do not known whether the stolen weapons were obtained by terrorist groups in the West Bank.