Court: Shut Haifa site that hired illegal Palestinians

Last Monday, law enforcement held a hearing with the construction site developers over the allegations and ordered the site closed for 21 days due to the harboring of illegal workers.

March 21, 2016 03:41
1 minute read.
Aerial view of Haifa

Aerial view of Haifa. (photo credit: COURTESY ASHDAR)


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The Haifa District Court on Sunday upheld an order to close a construction site in the city due to its harboring Palestinians present within the Green Line illegally, as well as allegations that the workers disturbed the peace.

Last Monday, law enforcement held a hearing with the construction site developers over the allegations and ordered the site closed for 21 days due to the harboring of illegal workers and disturbing the peace violations.

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In its petition against that order, the Abu Iyash Brothers Inc. developer argued that the closure order was unjustified and overly draconian, causing disproportionate financial harm to the firm and to the construction project.

Abu Iyash Brothers admitted that there were five illegal Palestinian workers employed on the site, but said that they were hired by a subcontractor without the company’s knowledge and that this should absolve it from any penalty.

Further, the petition added that four of the Palestinians were indicted for illegally crossing into Israel proper, with some expelled and ordered to remain in specific Palestinian Authority areas.

It argued that these enforcement actions were sufficient without needing to penalize the developer firm.

The court ultimately rejected the petition and upheld law enforcement’s 21-day closure order, finding that the law regarding petitions does not cover this specific situation, and calling on the Knesset to fill the loophole.

In addition, the court said that the developer had now put forward ways that it could better avoid the use of illegal Palestinians workers, including hiring a vetting agency, and that the developer should present these ideas to law enforcement with the hope that it will rescind its own order.

Moreover, the court said that if it had jurisdiction over the matter, it would not accept the argument that the developer is not responsible for whom its subcontractor hires.

Rather, the court said that the developer is responsible to oversee all actions connected with the construction, including by its subcontractors.

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