RAMALLAH, January 14 (JMCC) - The Israeli army is to begin removing weapons from Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank
sources reported Friday. The move comes after a prolonged period of relative calm in the territory, and over fears that they may be used against Palestinians.The move would affect hundreds of weapons handed out to settlers by the army at the start of the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, which erupted in September 2000, the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily reported.
The Israeli army could not immediately confirm the report, which said the military directive had already been passed on to security officers in settlements in and around the southern city of Hebron.
According to the paper, the decision was taken in light of the improved security situation in the past two years, and also due to the growing number of weapons being stolen from settlements.
But it was also taken over concerns about settlers taking the law into their own hands and shooting any Palestinians they perceive as a threat, the paper said, without citing a source.
When the weapons were first handed out, it was one gun for every 10 settlers, but in practice, many more were handed out, it said.
A military source told the paper the Hebron operation would be repeated across the entire West Bank.
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