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Israelis Given Month to Turn in Unlicensed Weapons Without Penalty

In an amnesty offer unprecedented in Israel, those in possession of unlicensed weapons have been given until month’s end to turn them in without penalty. The amnesty, which went into effect yesterday, derives from a July 2 Cabinet decision. It coincides with a new law providing stiffer penalties for possession of unlicensed weapons, passed in response to a recent rash of unsolved armed robberies. The law applies to souvenir collectors as well as the more nefarious-minded.

Unlicensed weapons may be turned in at police stations, where possessors will be asked their names and the sources of the arms. A police official estimated yesterday that “tens of thousands” of illegal weapons–including Six-Day War souvenirs–were in private hands throughout the country, along with 75,000 legal arms.