Israel is temporarily banning all Palestinian workers from West Bank settlements in the wake of two attacks in two days.
The decision to bar the workers was taken after consultations by top security officials on Monday, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said.
The decision, made in the wake of two attacks inside West Bank settlements in two days, is open-ended but will be reviewed daily, the army said.
“In light of daily situation assessments and following recent terror attacks, security measures have been taken in the Judea and Samaria region,” an IDF spokesperson said, using the biblical term for the West Bank.
The commander of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Lior Carmeli, decided that “as of tomorrow, Palestinian workers cannot enter Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria,” the official said.
On Sunday, a Palestinian terrorist knifed Dafna Meir to death at the entrance to her home at Otniel, in the Hebron Hills. Meir was laid to rest on Monday. Workers were already banned from settlements in that area as of Monday and her assailant was still on the run on Monday night.
On Monday morning, a Palestinian teenager stabbed and moderately injured Michal Froman, who is 18 weeks pregnant, inside the Bethlehem area settlement of Tekoa. Following the stabbing, Palestinian workers were barred from the settlement.
Froman was said to be out of danger in the hospital after surgery later Monday, and the fetus was stable and unharmed, doctors said.
Palestinian laborers are occasionally banned from settlements in response to security incidents or Jewish holidays.
Thousands of Palestinians — as many as 20,000 by some estimates — are employed inside settlements, mostly in construction, manufacturing and agriculture.
In June 2014, thousands of Palestinian workers were barred from settlements in the Etzion settlement bloc and elsewhere during a search for three kidnapped Israeli teens.
That move, which was seen as a way of putting pressure on the Palestinian population, drew the ire of some settlers, who said the directive harmed their businesses.