Israel to Revoke Work Permits of Terrorists' Relatives After String of Deadly Attacks

Security cabinet ministers also decide to advance a plan to reconstruct the West Bank separation barrier

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
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Palestinians go through a checkpoint to cross into Israel to reach their workplaces, last year.
Palestinians go through a checkpoint to cross into Israel to reach their workplaces, last year. Credit: HAZEM BADER / AFP
Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov

Israel's security cabinet decided Wednesday to revoke work permits of terrorists' relatives amid a wave of terror attacks that began in Israel last week and left 11 people dead

Cabinet ministers also decided to push forward a plan to reconstruct the West Bank separation barrier.

With two shocking attacks, ISIS rears its head in Israel. LISTEN

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Defense officials presented the ministers with intelligence assessments as to the possibility that further terror attacks will be attempted. The cabinet did not discuss the concessions that were planned to be granted to the Palestinians during the holy month of Ramadan. 

The security cabinet discussed other measures to deal with the terrorist threat, including reinforcing the security forces on the ground, as well as initiating operations against members of the Islamic State and supporters of its ideology. It was decided to begin a crack down on illegal possession of weapons within Israel's Arab community.

Before the recent terror wave, Israel planned to allow Palestinians to pray in the mosques on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City during Ramadan, after two years in which it was prohibited.

Israel also planned to allow Palestinians to visit their relatives and travel within the Green Line. Granting such concessions requires the approval of Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who has yet to decide on the matter. 

Defense officials recommended to the cabinet to wait and make a decision next week, when the Friday mass Ramadan prayers are scheduled to begin. 

The security cabinet also discussed the threat posed by the Islamic State, whose supporters carried out the terror attacks in Hadera and Be’er Sheva. Since the attack in Hadera on Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has ordered to increase the deployment of security forces around the country, expand the monitoring of social media and allow  more soldiers to carry weapons with them while off-base. 

The need to advance legislation to aid the police in dealing with the rampant crime in Arab communities was also discussed at the meeting. The ministers also discussed a bill that would authorize the police to expand its use of security cameras, along with a proposal sponsored by the Justice Ministry to make it easier to conduct legal searches.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who contracted COVID this week, participated in the meeting remotely, as did Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, who is on a visit to London. Shaked is proposed making it easier to recruit volunteers for the police’s Civil Guard. According to her proposal, every citizen who asks to volunteer for the Civil Guard could go to a police station, fill out a form with their details and begin serving within a week – instead of the usual number of weeks it takes. Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is also on a visit to London, did not participate in the meeting.

On Tuesday, four civilians and a police officer were murdered in a terrorist attack in Bnei Brak – the third such attack in Israel in a week. The terrorist, a Palestinian from the West Bank, was shot and killed by the police at the scene. On Sunday, two Border Police officers were shot and killed by two Arab terrorists from the city of Umm al-Fahm. They were both shot and killed in a gun battle with police from an elite undercover Border Police unit that happened to be eating in a restaurant nearby.

Last Tuesday, four civilians were murdered in Be’er Sheva in an attack that included stabbing and a hit-and-run. The terrorist, who was shot and killed, was a Bedouin resident of Hura in the Negev, who in the past served a prison sentence for security offenses – and was known to security forces for being an ISIS supporter. The Islamic State took responsibility for this attack as well as the one in Hadera. 

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