ISRAEL - Gun Ownership and Violence on the Rise

Arno Froese

After the violent death of an Israeli father over a parking space in Ramle sent shock waves through Israel, an organization fighting to eliminate gun violence has warned that a less restrictive gun-ownership policy by the Israeli government has led to an increase in gun ownership and violence.

Rela Mazali of the Gun Free Kitchen Tables Campaign, a coalition of women’s organizations working to eliminate gun violence, told The Jerusalem Post that until recently there wasn’t a widespread interest in civilians arming themselves because of a very restrictive policy on gun ownership, but the policy has recently changed to have far less restrictive requirements.

“As of last summer, guns are available to 600,000 potential applicants,” she said, adding that in recent years civilians have been encouraged to arm themselves.

While “the army has cut down on soldiers bringing home guns in order to decrease suicides, and has succeeded in that by and large, the army is going one way and the civilian world is going the other,” Mazali said.

“We know from elsewhere in the world that when there are more guns, there are more killings, mostly of women, and there are more suicides,” she told the Post.

According to the police, 3,661 weapons were confiscated and 2,704 suspects in shooting incidents were arrested, including 1,862 suspects from northern Israel. Another 842 people were arrested for using firearms in populated areas.

“Police operations took place across the country as a result of quality intelligence and undercover operations,” read a statement, adding that “police activities also took place, not just against the buying and selling of illegal weapons but also against suspects that shoot inside villages.”, 30 July 2019

Arno's commentary

What a tragedy; the country established by immigrants, threatened repeatedly by its neighbors with total destruction, is now facing internal problems with firearm violence. How many people are actually killed by firearms in Israel is unknown, because the police department does not publish gun crime data.

What is the future for firearms? First of all, the words of Jesus: “…Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matthew 26:52). When He returns, Micah 4:3 will be fulfilled: “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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