Border Police and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority found an M-16 and ammunition while arresting a Palestinian who was holding 40 protected birds illegally in the town of Anata, east of the Shu’afat neighborhood of Jerusalem, on Sunday night.
While searching the suspect’s home, Border Police found a room containing a number of cages holding 40 protected finches and eggs of protected birds that were caught in the wild. Six of the birds were white finches, which are considered a rare species.
The illegally held birds are estimated to be worth about NIS 100,000.
During the search, the Border Police dog Nika found a black bag containing an M-16 rifle, a cartridge full of bullets, and three boxes of 5.56mm bullets.
The suspect, a 30-year-old resident of Jerusalem with an Israeli identity card, was transferred for questioning by Border Police and the Nature and Parks Authority.
“The finch is a protected wild animal and the law prohibits hunting it, trading it, or holding it. Thanks to its unique song, the scope of its poaching phenomenon cross sectors and its trade is extensive,” said Erez Baruchi, head staff officer of the Nature Reserves and Parks Unit of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.
“The Civil Administration and the Nature and Parks Authority are working to locate finches in captivity and people who keep finches in their homes illegally. The finches will be sent for strengthening and testing before being returned to nature.”
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