Bezeq orders Jewish employees out of Arab towns

Communications giant cites ‘security reasons’ amid escalating terror wave, says Arab technicians will service Arab customers

Bezeq workers installing fiber optic cables. (Courtesy)
Bezeq workers installing fiber optic cables. (Courtesy)

Israeli phone and Internet giant Bezeq ordered its Jewish employees to refrain from entering Arab towns while the wave of violence persists.

Employees who have gun permits were asked to carry their firearms on calls, and any service calls to Arab neighborhoods in mixed cities, such as Haifa, Acre or Tel Aviv, will be carried out only after checking with the company’s security office.

Employees were also told not to go out on service calls alone, Army Radio reported.

The company was shaken by the news Tuesday that one of the terrorists in two deadly Jerusalem attacks, Alaa Abu Jamal, was a Bezeq employee, and even used his Bezeq-issued car to ram a 60-year-old rabbi at a central Jerusalem bus stop, killing him.

Army Radio interviewed Tzvika Tuchterman, branch manager of a cement company in the Negev with many Arab employees, who said his factory has had trouble connecting to the Internet for nearly two weeks, but a Bezeq technician slated to arrive Wednesday did not show up. The company explained that there were “security reasons” for the cancellation.

Tuchterman was critical of the sweeping decision. “They decided not to work in Arab villages and communities out of fear. Many Jews work in [Arab] local councils, in Kseife, in the whole area, and are in no danger.”

Bezeq responded to the report by explaining that the move follows the recommendations of security officials. It did not name them. The company’s Arab technicians, it said, would continue to service the Arab community.

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