A recent report revealed that the number of applications made by Israelis to obtain permits to carry personal weapons increased during the past two months by 183 per cent compared to the same period of last year.

The increase in the number of requests for permits to carry weapons came following Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s decision to ease regular restrictions imposed on that sort of security authorisations, Haaretz newspaper reported Thursday.

In August, Erdan announced the ministry’s resolution to simplify the permits granting procedure for Israelis, particularly in areas close to the zones populated by Palestinians and to the border.

Since then, 2,800 Israeli citizens have applied for permits to carry weapons, which marked a 183 per cent increase compared to the same period of last year.

Haaretz asserted that the initial estimates made by the Ministry of Public Security indicated that 35,000 to 40,000 people would apply to obtain permits to use weapons.

The Israeli newspaper stated: “The Ministry of Public Security estimates that 10,000 Israelis will receive permits to carry arms, which will increase the number of those who are licensed to use weapons in Israel to 140,000 without counting the police and army forces.”

Haaretz quoted Arab Knesset member Aida Touma Suleiman saying that “easing the restrictions imposed on the permit to carry weapon applications jeopardises the lives of about half a million people, all of whom may die because it is easy to press the trigger on the pretext of self-defence.”

Suleiman emphasised that “arming some individuals, primarily Jews, in the name of the right to self-defence against terrorism means one thing: inciting against and attacking the Arabs and the Palestinian people. The decision to place weapons in the hands of some Israelis means that Israel incites them to carry out executions at any time they feel personally threatened.”