Palestinian Authority Arab workers enter pre-1967 Israel
Palestinian Authority Arab workers enter pre-1967 IsraelYonatan Sindel/Flash90

A total of approximately 8,000 Palestinian Authority Arabs have been allowed to enter Israel for work purposes - despite the fact that the government's ministers vehemently opposed such a move.

According to a Wednesday morning report by Kan Reshet Bet, the workers, who represent about 20% of the usual number of PA Arabs allowed into pre-1967 Israel, have been allowed to return to their places of employment - despite the fact that the political echelon has not approved the move, which follows a similar decision at the end of October.

The workers in question are mostly employed in large industrial areas, such as Barkan and Mishor Adumim, and in larger cities such as Ariel. The report added that the approval follows requests by Israeli employers to the IDF.

The brigade commanders in the relevant areas, and border security in the Jerusalem area, have approved security measures for the duration of the workers' employment.

The report noted that the IDF's Central Command is the one in charge of the matter, and does not need approval from the political echelon in order to make decisions. It also noted that only about 5,000 PA Arabs, or 5% of the previous workforce, work in pre-1967 Israel; the rest are employed in Jewish areas of Judea and Samaria.

The group of workers includes only those employed in essential industries, such as hospitals and cemeteries.

Earlier this month, a discussion was held on the matter, with the defense echelon claiming that another battlefront would develop in Judea and Samaria if the PA Arabs continued to be denied entry to Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria and to pre-1967 Israel.

Meanwhile, leaders in Judea and Samaria, including Shlomo Ne'eman of Gush Etzion, Yossi Dagan of Samaria, and Israel Ganz of Binyamin, expressed surprise at rumors claiming that they themselves had requested to bring PA Arabs in to work in their regions.

"To our shock, we saw reports which made it seem as if our request to bring workers in to work in towns or within the Green Line, was approved. There was never any such thing! We demand the Central Command explain why there are false reports on this matter," they said in a statement.