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Israeli police arrest 2 undocumented Palestinian workers in central Israel

Aug. 1, 2017 6:35 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 1, 2017 6:35 P.M.)
Undocumented Palestinian workers detained by Israel police in July 2017. (Credit: Israeli police)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli police on Tuesday arrested two Palestinians in central Israel on allegations that the two workers entered Israel without proper documentation.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli police officers stormed a construction site in the city of Ramla and found five Palestinian workers inside a shipping, which she noted, was connected to an air conditioning unit.

Two of the workers who did not have permits to enter Israel were detained for questioning, al-Samri said. 

Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel due to crippling unemployment in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.

Israeli authorities have imposed a massive crackdown on undocumented workers in Israel, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claiming in March 2016 that “a large proportion of (Palestinian) attackers were present in Israel illegally or infiltrated into Israel illegally” since the beginning of a wave of violence in the fall of 2015.

However, few Palestinians attackers were in fact workers in Israel, and the recent crackdown on undocumented workers has been condemned by rights groups as a political game, unlikely to affect the violence yet economically harmful to both Palestinians and Israelis.

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