Homemade Guns in Terror Attack Prompt West Bank Raid

Prompted by the use of homemade weapons by two terrorists in the Tel Aviv attack earlier this week, Israeli security forces launched a massive crackdown on illegal weapons factories in the West Bank in order to prevent future attacks of this nature.

In a sweeping raid of Palestinian villages Thursday night the Israeli army said it uncovered gun-making equipment, bullets and components used to build explosives.

The cousins who carried out the Tel Aviv attack used homemade machine guns, loosely based on the Swedish Carl Gustav weapon, which is easy to duplicate, but extremely unreliable.

The terrorists killed four Israelis in the Sarona Market attack on Wednesday, but further casualties were likely prevented due to the malfunctioning of both of their weapons.

In a video of the attack, the guns in the Tel Aviv attack appear to have jammed and the clip repeatedly falls out of one of the weapons. One of the terrorists is seen throwing his weapon to the ground, seemingly in frustration. Both fled, but were later caught and are in Israeli custody.

The army said they made more than a dozen arrests in a number of West Bank villages overnight Thursday, including several in the terrorists’ hometown, Yatta, south of Hebron. The cousins, who were not members of Hamas or other armed groups, snuck into Israel illegally, Israeli officials said.

While Israel can intercept arms shipments from abroad, homegrown weapons are harder to control. “Carlos,” as the machine guns are known, can be built at home using easily accessible materials such as water pipes.

Crudely constructed, the guns are extremely inaccurate but fully automatic and easy to conceal because of their relatively small size.

Most Palestinian attacks (nearly 300 total) against Israelis since a wave of violence started last September have been stabbings, but Israeli authorities have recorded 92 incidents involving guns, including the deadly shooting of a 19-year-old Israeli police officer in Jerusalem with a Carl Gustav.