Palestinian tour groups to have security detail while in Israel

Defense Ministry decision comes after investigation into stabbing attack in April.

May 16, 2017 02:35
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv shooting

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting, a heavy security presence guards the entrance to Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market last week. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Defense Ministry announced on Monday that effective immediately, Palestinian tour groups must be accompanied by Israeli security detail following a stabbing attack in a hotel lobby on Tel Aviv’s beachfront promenade in late April.

Following the attack, the issuing of one-day entry permits had been suspended by Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories but according to a COGAT statement, the granting of permits has been renewed as of Monday in accordance with the compliance of criteria set by security officials.

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The investigation and recommendations were formulated and supervised by the head of the Civil Administration, Brig.- Gen. Achvat Ben-Hur.

In addition, it was decided that there would be a conference for various organizations and institutions to discuss the procedures and security requirements necessary for Palestinians to obtain permits to visit Israel.

On April 23, 18-year-old Imad Agbar from Nablus entered Israel on a single-day permit facilitated by Natural Peace Tours, a group whose stated mission is to develop positive relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

According to a representative for Natural Peace Tours who spoke with Walla News after the attack, Agbar apparently left the group sometime after breakfast at Hayarkon Park. He then proceeded to stab four people at two different hotels, lightly wounding them, before being subdued and arrested by police.

“I wish that we would have seen suspicions that this would happen, but there was simply nothing,” the representative said, adding that the attacker came from a “very respectable family, both financially and on a personal level.”

Agbar was charged with four counts of attempted murder on May 8th.

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