Tank Disappears from Israel Army Base, Found in Scrap Yard 20 Kilometres Away

Israeli authorities are investigating the theft of a tank from a military training zone, which was later found abandoned in a junkyard.

Tank Disappears from Israel Army Base, Found in Scrap Yard 20 Kilometres Away

The army said the Merkava Mark II tank was decommissioned years ago.

An Israeli tank was stolen from a military base in northern Israel, according to the police, on Wednesday. The Israeli Defense Ministry had initially reported the theft, which took place at an army training base near the Elikim Interchange in northern Israel. However, there was a fortunate turn of events, as the tank was subsequently located in a scrap junkyard. Police are investigating the theft. It is unclear how the tank was stolen or how it ended up in the scrap junkyard. The tank was disarmed and not carrying any ammunition, police said.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the tank was last seen near Elikim, a moshav northeast of Zichron Ya'acov. However, its point of discovery, a scrap yard near Nesher, just south of Haifa, is around 20 kilometres away.

According to the IDF and the Defense Ministry, the armoured vehicle is the shell of a Merkava Mark II tank that went out of service many years ago. It is without armaments, and its systems are inoperable.

"The tank was stripped of armament, and its systems do not work," the army said in a statement, noting that it was stationary and used for training in a firing zone accessible to hikers.

It wasn't the first time an old tank was stolen in Israel in recent months.

Last February, anti-judicial reform protesters stole a Yom Kippur War-era tank from a memorial site on the Golan Heights for use in a demonstration.

Police recovered the armoured vehicle on a flatbed truck near Kibbutz Gadot, just west of the Golan Heights. It had been taken by former soldiers who fought in the 1973 war and intended to use it as a prop in the protests against the government's legal reform program.

The tank was draped with a large replica of Israel's Declaration of Independence, which was signed by the former IDF soldiers. They also spray-painted the word "democracy" on the side of the tank.

(With inputs from agencies)