Police arrested early Monday 44 Arabs from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas who were staying in Israel illegally. The Arabs were arrested in the Haifa area. Most were in Israel to work, after having sneaked past the security fence. The illegal workers were apparently renting space from Arabs living in villages in the area of Haifa. Police intend to bring charges against the illegals’ host, a spokesperson said.
Also Sunday night, IDF troops arrested 16 other wanted security suspects. The suspects were wanted on charges of rioting, and endangering lives by throwing rocks and firebombs at Israeli civilians and IDF troops. Two of the suspects had an M-16 rifle in their possession. All the suspects were being questioned by security officials.
Early Monday, IDF soldiers caught two Arabs attempting to breach the border fence around Gaza. The two were found to be carrying weapons, although they claimed that they were just seeking work in Israel. Over the past two days, said the IDF, eight Gaza Arabs had attempted to breach the border fence. All were captured.
On Shabbos morning, thousands of residents of the Gaza border region were put on alert for hours, told to remain indoors or in shelters as IDF soldiers searched for infiltrators who had reportedly breached the fence. Soldiers fanned out throughout the region, searching for the three infiltrators, who were finally found after several hours. An initial investigation indicated that the Arabs were attempting to infiltrate Israel in order to find work, and not to carry out terror attacks, the army said.