The Israeli army has postponed the collection of weapons from Gaza Strip settlers, and will reexamine at the last minute whether there is a need to do so at all, military source said Saturday.

In mid-April, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz ordered the army to begin collecting weapons from settlers ahead of the planned evacuation. 

The defense minister directives involve the collection of weapons given by the army to settlers serving as security officers, security coordinators and members of on-call forces.

A military source explained that in light of the recent military escalation in the Gaza Strip, collecting settlers’ weapons will impair their ability to carry out their security tasks, and will create a crisis of confidence between them and the army.

Concerning privately owned licensed small arms, a legal problem could impede army attempts to collect them. According to Israeli law, the authorities have to prove that the owner intended to use it for reasons other than self-defense in order to be able to collect them.