In the aftermath of Tuesday's deadly shooting attack near Hebron, Interior Minister Eli Yishai has instructed Population and Immigration Administration head Amnon Ben-Ami to ease restrictions on the purchase of firearms by Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
Yishai said Wednesday he had decided to change the gun control policy after learning that one of the victims of the attack reportedly had his gun license revoked, and was therefore not carrying a weapon at the time terrorists opened fire.
According to the new directive, gun licenses will be issued without police authorization based solely on the professional opinion of Firearms Division personnel.
Minister Yishai said that a situation whereby the State of Israel "prevents its citizens from protecting themselves" is "absurd."
The new policy also applies to Israelis who work in the West Bank.
"Due to the launching of direct talks (between Israel and the Palestinians), we can already see the mass
murderers coming out of their murder nests to kill Jews," the minister told Ynet.
"We won't allow deaths as a result of bureaucracy. It is our duty to help the residents maintain their basic right to protect their own lives. We must be prepared for a complex period as far as security is concerned," he said.
Meanwhile, Knesset Member Danny Danon (Likud) asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima) to check the claim that the IDF has been instructed to remove West Bank roadblocks and refrain from initiating military operations as a gesture to the Palestinians.
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