Ashdod mayor orders security measures that may target Arabs

Amid furor over neighboring Ashkelon barring Arab workers, Yehiel Lasri calls for extra checks at construction sites

Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri. (Screen capture, YouTube/Limor Edrey)
Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri. (Screen capture, YouTube/Limor Edrey)

The mayor of Ashdod on Thursday ordered a series of security enhancement measures, some of which appear to target Arab workers in the city.

Yehiel Lasri ordered security checks for workers at construction sights and demanded contractors review their workers’ documents, Israeli news outlet Ynet reported. He also decided to assign security details to kindergartens near construction sites and reinforce security patrols in the city with the help of parents.

Israel’s construction industry is largely dependent on Arab workers.

Lasri’s directives came amid vociferous criticism by Israeli politicians across the spectrum of Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni‘s announcement that he would halt construction of shelters in schools, apparently to keep Arab workers out of the buildings due to security concerns after two Palestinians killed five people at a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday tore into Shimoni over the move, and an Arab rights organization threatened to sue him.

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