Israel Revoked 1,100 Entry Permits of Palestinians Close to Terrorists in Recent Spate of Attacks

In March, Israel's security cabinet expended sanctions on Palestinian relatives of terrorists. Now second-degree relatives as well as neighbors and close friends could see their permits revoked

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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Check point near Tulkarm, in the West Bank, January 2022.
Check point near Tulkarm, in the West Bank, January 2022.Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Israel has revoked entry and work permits of 1,100 Palestinians whose relatives were involved in recent spate of terror attacks in the country.

In March, Israel's security cabinet expended sanctions on terrorists' relatives to deter Palestinians from carrying out such attacks.

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Up until March, only first degree relatives have had their permits revoked, but the new decision means that second-degree relatives, such as cousins, grandparents, neighbors and close friends can now lose their permits – even if there is no indication that they had prior knowledge of the attack or provided help.

Ministers at the security cabinet initially asked for a larger group of relatives to be sanctioned, with one cabinet member asking to impose sanctions against the terrorist’s entire clan. Security officials opposed this idea, arguing that this was a too far-reaching step. Clans in the West Bank can sometimes include 15,000 to 50,000 people – most of whom do not necessarily even know the terrorist.

In addition, political leaders asked to revoke such permits from all residents of the terrorist’s village, saying that the difficulty in making a living would lead to pressure within Palestinian society to prevent terror attacks.

A senior defense official called the new measure "an effective tool." The official further told reporters on Tuesday that its "purpose is to deter potential terrorists from carrying out terrorist attacks.”

Police chief with Israeli forces after the arrest, in central Israel, on Sunday.Credit: Israel Police

“In the present situation, we cannot continue to act in a routine fashion without there being a price for the incitement on social media. In a number of the incidents, we have identified cooperation and aid to those terrorists on the part of their families, friends and Palestinians – and those that take a part in it must know that it has a price. The young person who thinks of going to carry out a terrorist attack must know that his acts will have very harsh repercussions on both his closer and more distant surroundings.”

The defense establishment is also re-examining the conditions for obtaining work and entry permits in order to allow more Palestinians, who do not face a security threat, to work in Israel.

This comes as Israel increased the number of soldiers guarding the West Bank separation fence in recent weeks, to prevent Palestinians without work permits from entering Israel.

Israel is now considering granting permits to thousands of Palestinians who up until now have been denied entry to Israel because they participated in demonstrations and riots in the first Intifada when they were teenagers.

Over the past two months, a string of Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank have left 19 dead. Meanwhile, at least 27 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, some related to operations to locate suspects in the attacks.

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