The Be’er Sheva court sentenced a 48-year-old resident of Tamra to 15 years in prison for conspiring to steal weapons from the Sde Teyman IDF base in southern Israel. The defendant, Muhammad Zuabi, sold the stolen weapons on the black market and shared the profits with his co-conspirators who both served in the IDF.

Stolen weapons from IDF base

Stolen weapons from IDF base Photo Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson/ Channel 2 News

A 48-year-old resident of the village of Tamra was convicted Monday of conspiring to commit a crime in connection with the theft of weapons from the Sde Teyman IDF base in southern Israel in July of last year. The defendant, Mohammed Zuabi, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a fine of NIS 100,000, after it was proved that, together with his son and an IDF officer, he planned to steal weapons and ammunition from a bunker and sell them on the black market for large sums of money.

At the time of the incident, the defendant’s son, Adi Zuabi, served as the driver of IDF officer Captain Shad Bashir, who was in charge of guarding the ammunitions bunker at the base.

According to the indictment, the three stole 77 shrapnel grenades, 13 Lau missile launchers and a Matador missile from the bunker. Zoabi’s son and Bashir apparently loaded the weapons onto a commercial military vehicle and left the base. When they reached the Beit Kama Junction, the two transferred the stolen weapons to the defendant’s vehicle. According to the details of the investigation, the three divided the profits from the sale between them.

“The defendant played a central and substantial role in a serious affair, which included liaising with elements with access to a military bunker, stealing large quantities of weapons of a very dangerous type,” the court ruled. “There is real potential for harming civilians and the security of the state, a fear that still exists today since not all of the stolen weapons have been accounted for.”

A number of additional suspects, some of them soldiers and officers from the base in question, were also arrested and prosecuted for their involvement in the theft.