Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.
(photo credit: COURTESY ISRAEL POLICE)
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Palestinians must be allowed to work in Israel and the settlements despite the Har Adar terrorist attack on Tuesday.
“We should not change the policy,” he told Kan Reshet Bet on Wednesday. “We have an interest, both economic and security related, to keep allowing Palestinian workers to enter Israel.”
Erdan said the mechanism for approving such permits should be reviewed.
“There might be a way to improve it,” he said. “Maybe establishing a filtering mechanism or a periodic checking [of the workers] that could raise an alert when someone like this [is planning an attack]. I don’t know if it is possible, but we must examine the system.”
Nimr Mahmoud Ahmad al-Jamal, the 37-year-old from Beit Surik who carried out the attack, had a valid work permit allowing him to enter settlements.
Border Police officer Solomon Gavriya, 20, of Be’er Ya’acov, and security guards Youssef Othman, 24, of Abu Gosh, and Or Arish, 25, of Har Adar died in the attack.
“A Palestinian with a work permit that carries out a terrorist attack is unusual, it does not happen often,” Erdan said. “Those who are usually doing the attacks are illegal aliens. It’s not hard to get a gun in the Palestinian Authority [territories] and [carrying out] an attack such as this takes seconds.”
Menachem Mor, Har Adar’s deputy council head, told The Jerusalem Post
he agrees with Erdan’s stance.
“You cannot punish those who were good along the years over one incident,” he said.
“Whoever is good should get good treatment, whoever is bad should be punished. There are many people who just want to come and work, bring money home, raise a family and prosper.”
Mor emphasized that despite the fact that the community is recovering, it’s continuing with its day-to-day life.
“We are in kind of a post-trauma situation, like someone who went through a car accident,” he said. “But once we take care of all the security-related issues, as far as I can see it, we can go back to normal [allowing workers in the settlement].”
Mor said further security measures at the checkpoint are being discussed, but they will likely include further fortification of the guarding posts, surveillance cameras and metal detectors.
“There is no reason to prevent the entrance of the people we have been working with for years,” he said. “In my case, there is someone who worked with my household for over 30 years. We joke that he practically raised my kids.”
Meanwhile, the checkpoint between Har Adar and the neighboring villages – Katanna, Beit Surik and Bidu – remained closed, except for five municipality maintenance workers.
Mor said it is expected to be reopened after the High Holy Days when the security improvement is complete.
On Wednesday, heavy IDF presence was felt in Beit Surik and Bidu. The IDF mapped the house of the terrorist ahead of its demolition and dismantled the terrorist family’s mourners tent.
Soldiers also conducted searches of weapons and “terrorism money.”
Ridha Kandil, a 42-year-old construction worker from Beit Surik, told the Post that the soldiers entered homes and prevented people from leaving their houses in both of the villages.