Israel arrests 1,200 unauthorized Palestinians workers

Detentions come following Knesset’s approval of tough new law to keep out illegals amid ongoing terror wave

An Israeli soldier stands guard next to Palestinian workers who were transported out of the Tekoa settlement south of Jerusalem following a terror attack in the community on January 18, 2016. (AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA)
An Israeli soldier stands guard next to Palestinian workers who were transported out of the Tekoa settlement south of Jerusalem following a terror attack in the community on January 18, 2016. (AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA)

Israeli police said Tuesday that they had arrested 1,200 Palestinian workers without permits, under a crackdown aimed at helping to quell a five-month wave of violence.

The unauthorized workers were detained along with 150 employers over the past two weeks, a police statement said.

On March 14 the Knesset approved a tough new law to keep out illegal Palestinian workers, as part of measures aimed at tackling a surge in attacks against Israelis.

The legislation means that the Israeli employer of a Palestinian who has entered the Jewish state without the hard-to-obtain permit could face several years in prison.

In the nearly six months of the ongoing wave of terrorism and violence, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in Palestinian attacks. Nearly 190 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.

An Israeli government adviser said this month that of the attacks in Israel, 44 percent were carried out by Palestinians who were in the Jewish state illegally.

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