Police over the weekend arrested three illegal Arab workers who were trying to pass themselves off as Thai agricultural workers. The owner of the greenhouse where the three were employed has been detained. Police said they plan to charge him with employing Palestinians illegally, and intend to prosecute him to the full extent of the law.
The three were caught working at a farm in the Hefer Valley region, near Hadera. Police, who said they were acting on a tip, arrived at the farm Friday morning and found the Arabs dressed in gear usually associated with Thai agricultural workers – broad-brimmed hats and cowls on the back of their necks. The three, who hail from the Shechem area, were detained and are to be sent back to their homes.
Last month, the Public Security Ministry announced it was cracking down on employers of illegal Arab workers, with fines that could reach tens of thousands of shekels for each incident of employing an illegal Arab.
In a statement, police said that while they realized that the vast majority of illegal Arabs infiltrated into Israel in order to earn money, “we come across too many cases where terrorists use this platform to carry out acts of terror. We have also found that many Israelis for their own personal and economic interests encourage this phenomenon, enabling individuals whose intentions are not pure to roam our streets freely.”