Police Arrest Illegal Arab Workers and Their Israeli Boss

Palestinian labourers wait for work on the side of a road after crossing through Israel's Eyal checkpoint REUTERS/Nir Elias/Files
Palestinian laborers wait for work on the side of a road after crossing through the Eyal checkpoint. (Reuters/Nir Elias/Files)

Police overnight Thursday arrested three illegal Arab workers who were sleeping at a bakery in northern Israel. In the possession of the Arabs were suspicious materials that appeared to be narcotic related. Police have opened an investigation to determine if they had tried to sell the materials in Israel.

Arrested along with the Arabs was their Israeli manager, who will be among the first to be prosecuted under tough new laws against employing illegal Arabs. The law was passed on its second and third reading earlier this week, with quick action prompted by the recent terror attack in Tel Aviv and Jaffa, in which one person was killed and eleven wounded. During hearings on new measures against these employers, MKs reviewed statistics that showed the correlation between terrorism and illegal Arabs. 44 percent of terror attacks within the Green Line 1948 armistice borders were carried out by illegal Arab workers. A total of 73 attacks have taken place inside Israel proper since October 1, and of those, 27 were carried out by illegal workers.

The four will be brought before a judge Friday, who will determine the next phase of their prosecution. The bakery will remain closed for at least the next 20 days. Police said that as it was important to impress upon the public the seriousness of the matter, they would seek to prosecute the manager to the full extent of the law.

Overnight Thursday, security officials said they had arrested 9 wanted security suspects in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.