Israeli border police officers walk in the West Bank village of Burin, near Nablus.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) is reevaluating the way it provides entry permits after large numbers of Palestinians were denied entry to Israel due to security concerns, despite the fact that they had previously received permits to enter Israel.
The Shin Bet said that the permits were revoked due to recent security concerns, including a wave of attacks carried out by Palestinians in recent months.
“Due to the security situation in recent months, the Shin Bet carried out a reassessment of the criteria for giving entry permits to Palestinians from the West Bank, in order to make it more difficult for potential suspects to enter Israel,” the Shin Bet said Monday, adding that “it’s impossible to rule out the possibility that Palestinian who previously had received entry permits were recently denied them when they asked to enter Israel for the purpose of work.”
The agency said that in recent days they have been reexamining the issue to see how they can balance security concerns with allowing the entry of Palestinians who had been given prior permission to enter Israel.
The Palestinians whose permits were revoked were given no prior notice, and for the most part were notified when they arrived at the beginning of the work day at checkpoints and were refused entry to Israel.
Army Radio – which gave the number of revoked permits as over 10,000, while others estimated it was in the hundreds – interviewed an attorney on Monday who said that the work permit of one of his employees, a Palestinian man who had worked with him for 20 years, was suddenly revoked one morning earlier this month without explanation.
Attorney Amnon Lorech was quoted as saying that the man “worked for us for 20 years, through every intifada and [military] operation and suddenly, he’s denied.”
He said they appealed the decision to no avail, adding that “these people are desperate, there at 10,000 desperate families who have no idea what we want from them.”