Border police officers on Thursday said a busload of Palestinian men, women and children illegally sought to enter Israel from the West Bank, apparently en route to the beach.
Guards at the az-Za’ayyem checkpoint east of Jerusalem said they flagged down the private bus for a security check after deeming it suspicious. The bus driver, who is a resident of East Jerusalem, and the passengers, among whom were numerous children, were detained for questioning at the crossing.
“The troops who stopped the bus for a check were surprised to find that all of its passengers, 56 children, women and men, didn’t have permits at all to enter Israeli territory,” a statement from the Border Police said, adding that the Palestinians were residents of the West Bank city of Ramallah and its surrounding villages.
“In a search of the bus, items of clothing and other effects were located that strengthen the suspicion that it was a group making its way to one of the beaches in Israel,” police said.
The Border Police force praised its officers for a job well done, though the group did not appear to pose a security threat.
“The Border Police have witnessed numerous attempts by Palestinians to infiltrate into Israeli territory for various goals,” it said. “The officers situated at the crossings in the area around Jerusalem will continue to work professionally and proactively to prevent the infiltration of those who aren’t permitted to enter the country, illegals who are liable to be involved in criminal activities, and occasionally even terrorism in Israeli territory.”