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Israeli forces detain 60 Palestinian workers without permits

Jan. 11, 2016 12:06 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 12, 2016 10:57 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police overnight Sunday detained 60 Palestinian workers who they said entered northern Israel from the occupied West Bank without work permits, Hebrew-language news sites reported Monday.

Israeli police reportedly detained some 40 Palestinians in Sahknin and nearby villages in northern Israel and another 20 Palestinians in Shafa Amr. The contractors that hired the Palestinians were also detained.

An Israeli police spokesperson was only able to confirm "general operations" against Palestinians working illegally in Israel, and had no immediate information on Sunday night's arrests.

Separately on Sunday night, Israeli forces shot and wounded a Palestinian worker attempting to cross Israel's separation wall near the illegal Israeli settlement of Oranit.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that Israeli forces called on the Palestinian to halt, but he "refused to comply," and as "he was fleeing," soldiers shot and wounded him.

He was evacuated to the Rabin Medical Center in Israel for treatment.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled by the ongoing Israeli military occupation.

As thousands of work permits are denied by Israel, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics estimates 30 percent of Palestinians work in Israel illegally.

These workers are often exploited by contractors who know that they have no other choice but to accept lower pay.
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