Israel Imposes Sanctions on Jenin, the West Bank Hometown of Tel Aviv Terrorist

Israeli citizens are barred from entering the Palestinian city, whose economy relies heavily on Israeli Arabs

Young Palestinians throwing stones at an IDF vehicle in Jenin, on Saturday.
Young Palestinians throwing stones at an IDF vehicle in Jenin, on Saturday.Credit: JAAFAR ASHTIYEH - AFP

Israeli citizens are now barred from entering the West Bank city of Jenin, the Defense Ministry announced Saturday, in a series of sanctions on the hometown of the Palestinian shooter who killed three people in an attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced several restrictions on the Jenin area, in the West Bank's north, including blocking local merchants and some businesspeople from entering Israel and preventing Jenin residents from visiting family in Israel, thereby revoking 5000 permits Israel issued for Jenin residents for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan which takes place in April.

Residents of the Jenin area with work permits in Israel will still be allowed to go there, but will face more stringent security inspections at checkpoints, the statement said.

The restrictions are expected to deal a hard blow to the local economy. Arabs from Israel who frequent Jenin constitute about 75 percent of the city's purchasing power.

Students at the Arab American University in Jenin who are Israeli citizens are exempt from the latest travel restrictions.

Combatants for Peace, an Israeli-Palestinian group, condemned the restrictions and called the defense minister to revoke them, saying that "hurting Palestinian citizens of Israel and collectively punishing all of Jenin's residents is not the solution, and will only deteriorate the situation."

Knesset member Sami Abu Shehadeh of the Joint List joined the condemnation, saying that "collective punishment, crimes carried out by the occupation army and a continuous abuse of the Palestinian people will certainly not be a solution to the current crisis."

He added that "only a diplomatic solution and an end to the occupation are the guarantee for a safer future for all of us."

On Saturday, a Palestinian militant was killed and a dozen others were wounded in Jenin in an exchange of fire with the Israeli military who were raiding the house Raad Hazem, the man who killed three people and wounded 10 others in a shooting attack in central Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Diaa Hamarsheh who killed five people in a shooting attack in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak was also from the Jenin area – where security forces are now concentrating their efforts, since three of the last five attacks were carried out by people from there, including Saib Abahra, who was killed with two other Palestinians by Israeli forces last Friday.

According to Israeli security forces, the three were responsible for a recent shooting attack near the city of Tul Karm in the West Bank, and planned to carry out further attacks.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Friday that Israeli forces were continuing to act with great forces against terrorism, adding that "we have already made 200 arrests, if needed we will make thousands."

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