ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 146

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Sa’ar: West Bank Palestinian workers must not be allowed in

MK Gideon Sa'ar attends a faction meeting of the National Unity party at the Knesset in Jerusalem, February 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
MK Gideon Sa'ar attends a faction meeting of the National Unity party at the Knesset in Jerusalem, February 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former justice minister Gideon Sa’ar (National Unity), a minister without portfolio in the current emergency coalition, rejects the idea of allowing Palestinian workers from the West Bank to enter Israel for work, despite warnings from security chiefs of a West Bank eruption of violence and terrorism, in part because of economic conditions there.

“Letting workers from the territory of an enemy population into Israel during a war is a terrible mistake that will cost blood,” he says.

The focus, Sa’ar stresses, in the wake of today’s terror attack in Ra’anana, needs to be on ensuring that Palestinians cannot cross illegally into Israel from the West Bank.

Today’s deadly attack was carried out by two Palestinians who were illegally working in Israel, the Shin Bet says. The security establishment has been pushing to return legal Palestinian workers who have undergone background checks to jobs in Israel.

Sa’ar also rules out a permanent ceasefire as part of a deal for the release of hostages held in Gaza. Halting the war without defeating Hamas is unthinkable, he says.

“As things stand, as far as I know, Hamas’s positions require Israel to surrender to its dictates and I don’t believe for a second that we can do this.” At present, he says, “there is no alternative but military pressure.”

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