Gov’t Cracking Down on PA Repairs of Israeli Cars

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of the village of Wadi Fukin, near Beit Lechem. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Talk of annexation of parts of Yehudah and Shomron are all the rage today, but when it comes to vehicle repairs, the government is going in the opposite direction – of total separation. It is against the law for Israelis to take their cars in for repairs in Arab villages in Yehudah and Shomron – including in Area C- and in recent weeks special police forces have raided numerous repair shops, confiscating and towing away vehicles owned by Israelis.

The reason for the ban is the fear that terrorist elements will intimidate or force repair staff to install bombs in vehicles, which will be set off in populated areas – thus the ban on any car repairs in PA-controlled areas, as well as in villages in Area C, under Israeli military and civilian control.

In recent weeks, officers of the 443 Serious Crimes Unit have towed 54 Israeli vehicles out of Arab repair shops. The vehicles are taken to a secure facility and examined for security breaches. The owners are charged with violating the law, and are subject to jail time if convicted – plus, they have to pay for the costs of towing and examining the vehicle. Of the 54 vehicles towed, 3 were found to have “suspicious” elements, security officials said.

Officials stressed that signs are prominently displayed at all Israeli checkpoints along the green line clarifying that bringing vehicles for repair in PA-controlled areas is illegal.