IDF Collects Army-issued Weapons From Jordan Valley Residents in Wake of Rifle Thefts

Settlers protest the decision, claiming it jeopardizes residents; 'What is needed is an increase in security measures'' says Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces announced Sunday that it would collect army-issued weapons from all Jodan Valley settlements, in the wake of recent rifle theft in the area.

Jordan Valley- Alex Levac- Feb 21, 2006
Alex Levac

Over the course of October, a gun and two M-16 rifles were stolen from homes in the settlements of Shadmot Mehola and Gitit. Following the incidents, Jordan Valley Brigade Commander Col. Yohai Ben Yishai ordered residents to return any IDF-issued arms in their possession.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel appealed to Ben Yishai to reverse his decision, calling it "unreasonable."

"The decision jeopardizes the residents of the Jordan Valley," said a statement issued by the forum. According to the forum, the recent incidents prove that residents in the valley are at risk and therefore measures of security should be increased.

"The theft incidents must be investigated, but denying residents the possibility of self-defense is a dangerous and unreasonable order."