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Shin Bet: Several Palestinian terrorists had applied for Israeli residency

Security service says recent West Bank transplants were behind a number of attacks, claims PA taking advantage of troubled Palestinians

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

In this Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 file photo, Israeli border police check Palestinians' ID cards at a checkpoint as they exit the Arab neighborhood of Issawiyeh in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
In this Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 file photo, Israeli border police check Palestinians' ID cards at a checkpoint as they exit the Arab neighborhood of Issawiyeh in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Several Palestinians who carried out terror attacks had recently received — or were in the process of applying for — residency status in Israel, the Shin Bet security service said on Wednesday.

Under Israeli law, West Bank Palestinians who have family members in Israel can apply for residency status, in a process known as family reunification.

“The family reunification process, which is based in humanitarian concerns, allows Palestinians with relatives who are residents of Israel to enter [the country] without incident,” the Shin Bet said.

“But recently it has stood out that a number of terror attacks have been carried out by those who have received this status,” the service said in a statement.

Abd al-Malik Saleh abu Kharoub, one of the two terrorists who carried out a shooting attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday, had recently received residency status through this program and was living in Kafr Aqab at the time of the attack, the Shin Bet said.

Fouad Tamimi, who was shot as he carried out a drive-by shooting in East Jerusalem on March 8, which left two police officers seriously injured, had an application for residency status in a compartment of the motorcycle he was driving during the attack, the security service said.

At the time, he’d been illegally residing in the Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Screen capture from security footage of a Palestinian woman pulling a knife out of her purse to stab a security guard at the entrance to Beitar Illit in the southern West Bank, November 8, 2015. (Screen capture)
Screen capture from security footage of a Palestinian woman pulling a knife out of her purse to stab a security guard at the entrance to Beitar Illit in the southern West Bank, November 8, 2015. (Screen capture)

Another recurring trend among the attackers, which has only become more apparent with time, has been underlying psychological disorders and personal problems that may have led to these violent, terrorist activity, the Shin Bet said.

Fadwa Abu Tir, a 21-year-old mother of five who tried to carry out a stabbing attack against Border Police officers in the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday had been suffering from depression for years, the Shin Bet said.

A 14-year-old Palestinian girl went out to stab Israeli troops in January, reportedly after having an argument with her parents, in what many considered a case of suicide by cop.

Late last year, Halawa Alian, from Husan, shocked Israelis when she was caught on a CCTV camera calmly approaching a security guard at the nearby Beitar Illit settlement, only to suddenly take a knife out of her purse and attempt to stab him.

According to Husan residents, Alian had been arguing with her husband for months and had a difficult home life.

The Palestinian Authority and terror organizations, through “wild incitement,” have been “influencing these people with personal problems,” the Shin Bet said. And this had “pushed them to carry out acts of terror.”

In the nearly six months of the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence, 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed. 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.

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