Students at the yeshiva high school in the West Bank settlement of Elad have been collecting potentially dangerous explosives as trophies after picking them up in Israel Defense Forces firing ranges near the school, police discovered on Tuesday.
The police got involved when a yeshiva official reported that several students had brought back weapons found near the school.
"We immediately called the Sharon district sapper unit, and when we got to the yeshiva, it turned out the youths who had gone for a walk in the area had found a 52-millimeter mortar shell," said Elad police commander Dekel Ra'anan.
The dozens of other finds - some of which had been hung on dormitory walls as decorations - include a grenade launcher, missile remnants and additional mortar shells.
"The biggest problem is that they have no idea how dangerous it is," said Alon Assor, commander of the Rosh Ha'ayin police station, whose jurisdiction includes Elad. "No one ever explained to them what a weapon is, or a bomb, or a missile, or what damage can be caused by getting involved with that."
Police said the students handed over the weapons they had found, and police sappers defused the explosives in an isolated location.
"After we explained to them that it was very dangerous to remove the mortar shell from the field, and certainly to store it at home, they started to bring the sappers more and more weapons, including fragments of a LAW missile, additional mortar shells, a grenade launcher, flash grenades and IDF weapons used by the special forces units that train in the firing range east of the town," said Ra'anan.
Two weeks ago, police sappers defused a LAW missile container that a group of students picked up from the firing range and placed near the security fence surrounding Elad before reporting their find to the police.
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