Yesterday you visited the Israeli Arab villages of Taibe and Tira. The recent criminal gun battle in Taibe that was compared by local residents to the war in Lebanon, and the murders and attempted murders which took place recently in both villages have finally brought you to the hot spots of stolen weapons held by Israeli Arabs. The fact that in order to vist an Arab village well within the 1967 borders you needed a heavy security cover provide by special police units and border guards says everything – in the future, armoured personnel carriers backed by helicopter gunships may be required to enter villages of this kind.
As I already said in a previous article – there are thousands of stolen weapons in Arab villages in the Galilee, the Triangle and the Negev. In time of crisis, many of these weapons will be directed against IDF soldiers and Jewish civilians. You should have started dealing with this problem with all your might on the day you were appointed to your job, but better late than never.
Let me put forward a solution to the problem of illegal weapons of all types, that worked fairly well in other parts of the world. The government will pass emergency legislation in the Knesset – thirty years in prison to whoever is caught with an illegal weapon. The government will also announce a short period of amnesty lasting two or three weeks, during which anyone, from anywhere, will be able to hand in to the security forces any illegal weapon they can get their hands on, either directly or by leaving a phone message. Nobody will ask for their identity, nobody will record their details or take their photograph. As an incentive, the person will receive a payment of 500 NIS for each weapon. The inhabitants of the villages will be forewarned as to what will be the next stage – immediately after the expiry of the amnesty period, and using existing intelligence, large police and border guard forces will be deployed in these villages and others known to share the same problem, and will embark on an intensive house to house search. Any illegal weapon found will automatically send its owner to thirty years in jail. No discounts, no arguments, no sickening admission deals.
To implement such a solution requires boldness, courage and determination, not attributes characterising the government you are a member of. I am calling on you to pick up the gauntlet, and convince the other members of the government and the person heading it to implement Israeli sovereignty in Israeli Arab villages – to the last centimetre.