ISRAELI citizens have been arming themselves with glocks, AKs and any other firepower they can get their hands on in a desperate attempt to defend themselves against future terror attacks.
Hamas’ October 7 attacks left fear hanging in the air, and many Israelis have felt an overwhelming need to try and protect themselves.
The entire nature of even leaving one’s house has been reshaped, and vast amounts of the population have started relying on carrying a gun with them to feel a small sense of security.
Just a few days ago, a young couple were spotted holding hands and walking through Jerusalem.
A seemingly ordinary date, until you consider the fact that the young woman had an assault rifle slung around her shoulder.
The pictures of this couple have revealed the realities of everyday life in Israel now – a life of fear, uncertainty and harrowing memories.
Since Hamas’ unprecedented attack on October 7, applications for gun licenses has soared.
Less than a month after the attack there were 150,000 applications.
The year before had seen a maximum of 42 applications in any one month.
This stark increase has partially derived from Israeli president Binyamin Netanyahu saying that his government would help civilians to arm themselves.
In a televised speech after the attacks, he said: “We are in the midst of a campaign for our existence.
“We are encouraging civilians, and are helping civilians to arm themselves with personal weapons for defense.”
On November 30 Hamas conducted another terror attack in Jerusalem that killed three, but was ultimately stopped by an Israreli civilian with a gun.
Israeli police revealed: “Two terrorists arrived at the scene in a vehicle armed with firearms, these terrorists opened fire towards civilians at the bus station and were subsequently neutralized by security forces and a nearby civilian.
The city’s deputy mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said it was hero civilians who shot the two attackers.
While Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said that the attack “proves again…that we must speak to Hamas only through (rifle) scopes, only through war”.
Palestinian civilians fear that these guns will be turned on them.
Palestinian policy analyst, Mariam Barghouti, described the relaxation of gun laws in Israel as a green light in the intensification of killing Palestinians.
Although she expressed that this has always been a reality in the Israeli occupied West Bank, violence against Palestinians in this region has still spiked since October 7.
At least 176 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or Jewish settlers in the West Bank alone.
A resident of the West Bank, Abdelathim Wadi, told CNN that he and his community are living in fear.
He said that he lost his brother and his nephew after they were attacked by armed settlers – while they were on their way to a funeral for four other Palestinians.
He said: “There’s no one to defend us.
“Our movement is so restricted, we’re constantly living in fear that if we leave our house, we’ll be shot.”
This comes as the UN estimates that close to 16,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the outbreak of the war.
70% of this number are accounted for by women and children.
The IDF’s bombardment and ground invasion has also reduced much of the region to rubble.
Tens of thousands more Palestinians are presumed to still be lying under the debris.
The UN has also claimed that as many as 80% of Gaza’s population is now internally displaced.
Most of their 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes, with many seeking refuge under makeshift, tent-like shelters.
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