BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 19 July, 2002, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Arms scandal shocks settlers
Soldiers
Ammunition thefts have more than doubled
Jewish settlers have expressed shock and outrage at news that at least four Israeli soldiers living in West Bank settlements have been arrested on charges of selling ammunition to Palestinian militants.


They sold us for half a shekel [about 10 cents], the price of one bullet that ruined my life

Anat Harari, Adora victim
Two of the suspects, both brothers, lived in the Adora settlement where four Jews were killed during a Palestinian attack on 27 April.

The arrests of the soldiers followed tips of a vast smuggling operation of ammunition from Israel into the West Bank.

Ammunition theft from Israeli army bases has more than doubled in the past year.

Palestinians allege it has always been going on - but correspondents say it is rare for Jewish settlers to help arm Palestinians who have targeted the settlers for attack.

Shock

Israeli media reports alleged the men sold crates of rifle ammunition to a Palestinian member of the Tanzim militia - linked to the Fatah movement of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The Adora residents have been named as Roi Amar, a soldier, and Oded Mulai, a civilian, police spokesman Gil Kleiman told the Associated Press news agency.

Alleged sales
60,000 5.56mm bullets (for Galil and M-16 assault rifles)
3,000 9mm bullets (for Uzi submachine guns or 9mm handguns)
Source: Yediot Aharonot newspaper

In addition to ammunition smuggling, two of the soldiers - brothers Moshe and Nadav Cohen from the Telem settlement - are suspected of getting Palestinian lorries through checkpoints into Israel by taking the wheel in their military uniforms, newspapers reported.

A Palestinian suspect from the West Bank village of Tarqumiya was also arrested, said Mr Kleiman.

And a sixth suspect, Kobi Uliel, a reserve major from southern Israel, is also believed to be in custody.

Anat Harari, an Adora resident who was wounded in the shoulder during the April attack, said she was appalled that her neighbours sold ammunition to Palestinians.

Adora settlement
Adora is still reeling from the 27 April attack

"To think - there were the terrorists in front of me, firing away... and one of our own might have supplied them with the bullets," she told Israeli television.

"They sold us for half a shekel [about 10 cents], the price of one bullet that ruined my life," she was quoted as telling the Yediot Ahronot newspaper.

"We're in confusion and shock," Telem resident Gideon Mizrachi told Israeli Radio. "Not just we on the settlement but the whole Israeli people, I think, is struck with disbelief."

But a Palestinian official quoted by Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv said that for years Palestinians had acquired their weapons from the Israelis.

"Why are you making such a fuss? This is normal and a well-known occurrence. At least 50% of the weaponry in the [Palestinian] territories comes from the Israeli army," the unnamed official was quoted as saying.


Key stories

Profiles

FACTFILE

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

18 Jul 02 | Middle East
17 Oct 00 | profiles
18 Jul 02 | Middle East
27 Apr 02 | Middle East
18 Jul 02 | Middle East
18 Jul 02 | Middle East
17 Jul 02 | Middle East
14 Feb 02 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes