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The Knesset Interior and Environment Committee approved a new bill on Wednesday that would allow taxi drivers to ask passengers for proof that they entered Israel legally.

The bill is designed to prevent taxi drivers from unwittingly transporting Palestinians who entered the country illegally with the intent of carrying out terrorist attacks.

According to the bill, which was passed in a vote of 8-2 in a second and third reading, if the passenger refuses to present identification, the driver will be allowed to refuse their fare.

The committee's chairman, Labor MK Ofir Pines-Paz and other committee members proposed limiting the territory to which the law would to high-risk areas like Jerusalem and areas along the West Bank.

They also requested that the Public Security Ministry present the committee with statistics on the number of people illegally residing in Israel who assisted in carrying out terrorist attacks against Israelis.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said he supported the proposal to limit the territory covered by the bill to just certain high-risk areas, saying.

"We paid a high price for infiltrations of the seam-line and other areas and Jerusalem has a network of transit stops serving people illegally residing in Israel and are seen as a preferred method of infiltration," said Dichter.

Pines-Paz said the area to be covered by the law will be announced within a month, so that drivers and the police will know in what areas passengers will be required to present identification to drivers who request it.

Pines-Paz stated that if the committee decides to extend the area temporarily covered by the bill, it will be up to the Public Security Ministry to present statistics from the past year on instances of illegal residents who were transported in taxis.