Over the weekend, Israeli border police conducted a number of raids on living quarters and workplaces inside Israel, checking ID cards and looking for Palestinians from the West Bank who were in "Israel" without a permit. 208 Palestinians were arrested in the raids, and sent back to the West Bank.
Israeli police conduct 'ID card raids' inside Israel, arrest 208 Palestinians
- Publish date:30/03/2009
Palestinians are not allowed inside Israel without a work permit from Israel, and these permits are extremely difficult to obtain. Even Palestinians who have jobs with Israeli employers are not guaranteed work permits. The permits are temporary, and are frequently revoked.
So many Palestinians enter Israel without permits, in order to keep their jobs. This has gotten extremely difficult since the Israeli Annexation Wall was built in the West Bank, but some Palestinian workers still manage to smuggle themselves inside Israel to work.
ID card raids are carried out periodically by Israeli border police, and the Palestinians swept up in the raids are sent back to the West Bank. Shaher Sa'd, of the Palestinian Workers Union, alleged that the weekend's raids were violent, with Israeli border police beating Palestinian workers.
Sa'd also called the arrests a violation of international law. He confirmed that there were raids in Haifa and Tel Aviv, and knew of workers who had been sent back to Qalqilia, Jenin and Tulkarem.
The Palestinian economy, both in the West Bank and Gaza, has been decimated by the Israeli occupation, and many Palestinians, including farmers whose land was seized by Israeli settlers, have nowhere to turn to for work except sneaking into Israel without permits.
Israeli soldiers patrol through the southern West Bank city of Hebron.