The Biden administration is reportedly outraged after photos emerged showing Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir passing out rifles to “community security squads” at political events — threatening to quit supplying rifles to Israel.
Ben Gvir has posted images of himself handing out rifles on social media, celebrating having handed out 5,000 rifles “to police volunteers.”
“We continue to arm the people of Israel!” he added, according to a translation of the post.
חוזר עכשיו מעוד יום בדרום. חילקנו נשק למתנדבי כיתת הכוננות של המשטרה בדימונה (וגם ברחובות ובראשון לציון), ביקרתי את לוחמי מגב הגיבורים במרחבים, פגשתי לשיח את השוטרים באופקים וחיבקתי את החיילים במפלסים. הקמנו יותר מחמש מאות כיתות כוננות וחלקנו עד כה, כ-5,000 רובי סער למתנדבי… pic.twitter.com/TouKM5LaNr
— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) October 24, 2023
The images reportedly “led to a diplomatic incident that threatened to stop the arms shipments from the United States to Israel,” according to Israeli news outlet Haaretz. The Biden administration is reportedly furious over the news, as it does not want civilians to have guns nor for guns to be handed out during “political events.”
“The [Biden Administration] also threatened to halt an order of some 20,000 rifles purchased by the National Security Ministry from American suppliers,” the outlet added.
According to The Telegraph, the photos shared by Ben Gvir allegedly showed him “distributing the arms at political events in Bnei Brak and El’ad, two towns near Tel Aviv.”
Earlier this month, it was reported that Ben Gvir’s National Security Ministry had bought 10,000 rifles as part of an effort to arm civilian security teams, especially in areas near Israel’s borders. He also planned to hand out bulletproof vests and helmets to civilians.
Only around 2% of the Israeli population owns firearms, as the country does not have anything akin to a Second Amendment. However, after the horrific October 7 massacre — where Hamas terrorists killed more than 1,400 Israelis and 30 Americans — Israel has begun increasing gun ownership. The Jewish state has reportedly expedited the process for Israelis to obtain a gun license so that civilians can purchase weapons to defend themselves and their country.
Meanwhile, social media users celebrated Ben Gvir’s actions — with one Brazilian user noting that the opposite is happening in his country.
“National Security Minister of Israel Itamar Ben Gvir distributing arms to civilians. Here [in Brazil] the order is to disarm the civilian and arm the criminal,” the post read, according to a translation.
. 🇮🇱💥 Ministro da Segurança Nacional de Israel Itamar Ben-Gvir distribuindo armas aos civis. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Aqui a ordem é desarmar o cidadão e armar o bandido. 🤨 pic.twitter.com/WUS21E7yER
— Derlin.’.Rodrigues🇧🇷 (@DerlinRod) October 28, 2023