Daily Israel Report

Border Police Shoot Dead Illegal Arab Worker in Tel Aviv

Illegal worker killed during border police op. to net illegal African immigrants in TA area; circumstances of shooting still unclear.
By Ari Soffer, AFP
First Publish: 11/30/2013, 6:01 PM

Border police (illustration)
Border police (illustration)
Flash 90

Israeli border police shot dead an illegal Palestinian Arab worker during a raid aimed at netting illegal immigrants in a suburb of Tel Aviv early Saturday, a police spokeswoman said.    

"Border police carried out an operation this morning in a cemetery in Petah Tikva looking for foreigners residing in Israel illegally," Luba Samri said.    

"For reasons that are still unclear, a border policeman opened fire on an illegal resident, a Palestinian, who was there, and killed him," she said.    

Israeli law requires residents under Palestinian Authority rule in Judea and Samaria to obtain permits to work legally in Israel.

The number of permits issued has dwindled to a trickle since the second intifada, or Terror War, of 2000-2005 due to security concerns.

Those concerns still exist: in September an illegal Arab worker from the Palestinian Authority settlement of Bayt Amin abducted and murdered his Israeli colleague, 20 year-old Tomer Hazan, in a terrorist attack.

Despite Israel's construction of a vast security barrier which has been widely credited with preventing terrorist attacks beyond Judea and Samaria, small numbers of Palestinain Arabs still manage to slip into Israel in search of illegal employment.

Last year, Israel launched a crackdown on the roughly 60,000 illegal immigrants from Africa living in the country, deporting 3,920 by the end of 2012, and building a high-tech fence along the border with Egypt which has effectively ended the flow of illegal infiltrators into the country.    

The Knesset is mulling new legislation aimed at deporting thousands more migrants whom the government regards as a threat to the Jewish character of the state, and who have been blamed for a dramatic spike in violent crime in parts of central Israel.

The bill, which was approved by ministers last Sunday, was formulated after a previous law from last year, allowing illegals to be detained without trial for three years, was overturned by the supreme court in September.    

Left-wing groups contend that the majority of the African migrants in Israel cannot be deported because of threats to their lives in their homelands of Sudan and Eritrea. The Israeli government and various civil rights groups however dispute that claim, pointed out that the vast majority are economic migrants who slipped through the country's once porous southern border in search of employment.