West Bank Israelis Toting Guns in Case of Violent Attacks

USA Today recently featured a story about Israeli settlers who have resorted to carrying handguns as a result of several violent encounters in Israel and the Palestinian territories. One such individual is Aviva Yisraeli, a mom with four children who lives in the West Bank.

Yisraeli has opted to carry a Glock-type gun called a BUL Cherokee with her during her commute to and from Jerusalem. After she posted a Facebook photo of the gun resting on her lap, she was soon dubbed the “Glocker mom.”

Yisraeli says that it is up to her to protect herself and her family and that she will not sit by, do nothing, and be an easy target. Dozens of people have been killed in the last few weeks, and settlers like Yisraeli have decided that they can’t count on Israel’s security forces alone for protection.

Some settlers are fortifying their vehicles in an attempt to make them bullet proof. While a lot of their neighbors are barricading themselves in, Yisraeli and her husband aren’t. She says doing so will not fix things, and she’d rather live as normal a life as possible.

Despite stricter security policies announced by the Israeli government, settlers still fear attacks from the Arab population. That’s why they are taking matters into their own hands by carrying guns as they go about their daily lives.

They point to an example from earlier this month to illustrate their concerns about the violent situation. A score of Palestinian men surrounded a woman in her vehicle, broke the glass, and tried to remove her from the car. It was only 20 minutes after settlers chased the group of men off that security forces showed up on the scene.

While it’s hard to determine just how many Israeli settlers keep and carry guns in the West Bank, one resident says that doing so is vital to ensure safety. In Israel, there is no constitutional right like America’s 2nd Amendment that allows citizens to freely bear arms. Even so, they can be seen just about everywhere. Many firearms are carried around out in the open by off-duty soldiers, policemen, and the like.

Jewish people who have open-carry licenses have been encouraged by the mayor of Jerusalem to take their guns with them as they walk the streets of the city. He believes that responsible, gun-toting residents can curb the violence. The mayor himself is licensed to carry a gun and is credited with taking down a Palestinian with a blade earlier this year.

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