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Israeli police shut down work site for hiring undocumented Palestinians

Aug. 21, 2017 3:23 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 21, 2017 5:08 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli police shut down a construction site in Jerusalem after police discovered that the site had allegedly hired three Palestinian workers who did not have Israeli-issued permits to work in the city, according to a Monday statement from Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri .

Al-Samri went on to say that Israeli police were conducting efforts “to face the phenomenon of entering Israel illegally” and that police will hold accountable people who assist undocumented workers by “shutting down work locations and even houses, confiscating vehicles, imposing huge financial fines and long prison sentences in order to maintain security and stability in the region.”

Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel due to crippling unemployment in the occupied 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 unrest 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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