A massive clandestine weapons factory was sealed off overnight Wednesday in a joint operation led by the IDF with the Shin Bet and Judea and Samaria District Police in the city of Hevron.

The factory was discovered three weeks ago by security forces in the city of Hevron and has been described as the largest of its kind to have been exposed in 2016 in Judea and Samaria.

Following field intelligence gathered by the security forces and military activities in the area stretching over a number of weeks, the factory was discovered last month in a large underground space, concealed under a residential home in the southern industrial area of Hevron.

Two Arab owners of the factory, a father and son, were arrested and taken in for questioning. During their preliminary investigation conducted immediately upon their arrest, the father protested innocence, insisting that he only manufactured in his home parts for agricultural systems.

Shortly thereafter, the soldiers discovered that just meters underground was the large factory producing hundreds of high-quality weapons, above which the Arab’s family lives.

During the operation, more than 100 barrels for a Carlo sub-machine gun and Russian caliber sniper rifles capable of hitting a target’s head from a distance of 600 meters were found.

Furthermore, for the first time, parts were found for the M-16 machine gun along with assembly instructions.

In addition to the sealing off of the factory, 8 wanted terrorists were arrested, seven of whom are suspected of involvement in terror activities, disruption of public order and violence against civilians and security forces across Judea and Samaria.

The IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police are registering marked success in an intense crackdown over the last few months against clandestine Arab factories in which weapons are illegally manufactured, as cost of acquiring such weapons have soared since the operation’s inception.

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