In response to the demands from towns in northern Israel near the Lebanese border for immediate access to semi-automatic weapons due to the "Iron Swords" war, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir announced a concentrated purchase of over 10,000 weapons on Tuesday afternoon. Simultaneously, Ben Gvir voluntarily appointed retired Superintendent Shimon Lavi, the former commander of the North District of the police, as the civilian combat mobilization and armament coordinator.

While the acquisition of all the weapons is ongoing, 4,000 assault rifles were promptly acquired from an Israeli factory. These will be distributed, starting today, to various security guards and citizen patrols throughout northern Israel. Additionally, ancillary combat equipment, including helmets and protective vests, will be distributed at the time of the semi-automatic weapon signings. The aim is to extend this distribution to other citizen patrol groups in central Israel, with a focus on localities near fences, villages along the seam line in the north, south, and center of the country, mixed cities, and settlements in Judea and Samaria.

The distribution will commence in 400 localities with civil patrol units, following instructions from the Israeli Border Patrol. In places where such units do not exist yet, new standby units are expected to be established during the day. As part of Lavi's role, he will oversee the distribution of assault weapons and the arming of civilian standby units in localities and cities.

Minister Ben Gvir has instructed the police, fire and rescue services, the Shin Bet, and his office's teams to prepare for a potential second wave of Arab civilian unrest and all security risks. This includes the possible infiltration of Hezbollah forces into towns on the northern border. "We are committed to ensuring the protection of these towns," said Ben Gvir. "I have ordered a substantial arming of civil patrol units to provide a response to villages and cities. We will leave no one unprotected, and preparations are in place for potential significant civil unrest originating from the Arab sector within Israel."

Ben Gvir's readiness for such drastic situations aligns with the IDF's continued high alert status against a possible Hezbollah attack and any potential local uprisings that might occur in Judea and Samaria, East Jerusalem, or even other mixed Arab-Jewish cities like Ramle and Lod. During the altercations in the surrounding Israeli villages of the Gaza Strip, several armed civil patrol units fought against the terrorists side by side with the IDF troops, awaiting for backup to arrive.

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