A Palestinian Authority Arab was arrested over the weekend for identity theft – absconding with the identity of an Israeli woman so that she could work in Israel, police said. The culprit was taken to court for a hearing on Monday. Police plan to ask for an extension of her remand.
The 19-year-old Ramallah resident was employed as a cleaning worker in a hospital, the name of which remained under a gag order. Police received information that the worker was not an Israeli citizen, and that she was illegally employed at the hospital.
While cases of illegal Arabs working in Israel are not unusual, this case was. She told police who questioned her that she was Israeli, and displayed an Israeli identity card, with her photo and name on it.
A cursory examination of the document showed that she had glued her own photo atop the photo that was originally on the document, and police said that she had used the name and ID number already on the card as her own. She had used the document to get hired by the manpower agency that provided cleaning workers for the hospital, and it had not been questioned by the agency.
When she began working in the hospital, she got an employee identification card, which she used as an ID card in various contexts. She is being charged with illegally entering Israel, fraud and other related charges.
Police said in a statement that they were very concerned with cases of identity theft, and that they conducted both public and secret investigations in order to prevent illegal Arabs from entering Israel.