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Israel shuts down Jerusalem restaurant for hiring staff from West Bank

March 1, 2019 3:07 P.M. (Updated: March 4, 2019 11:00 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities shut down a Palestinian restaurant in Salah al-Din Street in occupied East Jerusalem, on Friday, under the pretext of hiring a West Bank resident as an employee.

Local sources said that Israeli authorities hung up an order closing Abu Ali Hummus and Falafel Restaurant for ten days under the pretext of employing a West Bank resident, who did not obtain an Israeli entry permit to enter Jerusalem.

Sources added that Rashdi Ishti, the owner of the restaurant, was summoned for interrogation by Israeli police forces and was informed regarding the order to shut down his business.

The owner did not receive prior notice concerning the Israeli decision.

Under Israel's permit regime, Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access occupied East Jerusalem or Israel without an Israeli-issued permit, and many risk being shot and injured while trying to cross into Israel to work.

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.

Workers who hold Israeli entry permits, however, must endure long waits either at the Checkpoint 300 or the Qalandiya Checkpoint, the only two access points Palestinians from the southern and central West Bank have to Jerusalem and Israel.

Additionally, the rules only allow Palestinians with blue identity card -- either those who are Israeli citizens of East Jerusalem residents -- from entering, meaning even Palestinians over the age of 45 who are from the West Bank or elsewhere are unable to enter.

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