Safe in Our Gun-Toting Settlement

Everyone in our Jewish settlement has a gun, and quite frankly that makes us feel secure

By Ayala Shalmayev | | Topics: Settlements
Carrying a gun in Israel is seen as perfectly normal.
Photo: Ayala Shalmayev

As I wrote previously, my husband and I, along with our five children, live in a small Jewish settlement north of the central Israel town of Modiin. Here, security is paramount.

There are currently several construction projects underway in our settlement of Na’ale. The construction workers are all Palestinian Arabs. Every morning, about 200 Palestinian construction workers arrive to our small Jewish village. We are surrounded by a security fence, and our security service works around the clock. I would add that our security officers are mainly Druze from the north of Israel. Their mother tongue is Arabic, they are loyal to the State of Israel and previously served in the army.

All Palestinian construction workers who want to work in a settlement are subjected to athorough security check, after which they receive a work permit that is valid for three years. Each morning, they must hand over their ID cards at the entrance to Na’ale and have them returned at the end of the workday. In this way, we are assured that no one remains behind unauthorized.

During the workday, the construction workers are also under constant surveillance. For each “group” there is a security guard. It is impossible for a Palestinian worker to move freely around any settlement. If a private resident wants to have renovation work done and organizes it with one of the Palestinian contractors, he must either have a gun of his own or also organize for an armed security guard to be present at all times. Many fathers (and also a few mothers!!) have a gun in Na’ale. This is completely normal. Many of our neighbors earn a little pocket money now and then by guarding the many construction sites.

Anyone who lives in a settlement has the right to request a gun permit. Of course, you first have to go through a few tests and a security background check. My husband even has two weapons, one of his own, and another provided by his job.

We love settler life, and contrary to the impression given by the mainstream media, wecouldn’t feel safer! Our children are totally free to move about without worrying. By contrast, one never knows what is happening in a big city. In our settlement, that’s just not possible. It’s much easier to make everyone feel safe when you know that there is nobody around who shouldn’t be there.

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