Security fence or security sieve: Israelis protest as 1,000s of Palestinian illegal workers enter daily

Residents of Mount Hebron area furious that thousands of Palestinians are entering Israel daily through a hole in the security fence.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Residents of the Jewish community of Adora in the Hebron area held a protest Sunday against the ongoing lack of action to plug a hole in the security barrier that is allowing thousands of Palestinians to illegally enter Israel daily looking for work, Channel 20 News reported.

Residents demonstrated against what they call the “helplessness” of the government and security forces to close the breaches in the security barrier that they say endangers their safety and health.

“Every morning, thousands of Arabs bypass the separation fence near Lachish without corona checks, without security checks and make their way by buses to Israeli cities,” one of the demonstrators told Channel 20.

Started in 2002 to protect Israelis from Palestinian suicide bombers, the separation barrier is mostly fence and runs through most of Judea and Samaria. Palestinians with work permits are allowed into Israel, but thousands more flow daily through several holes including the one near Adora, where they are met on the Israeli side by minibuses to take the workers to jobs, mostly in construction.

“We came to demonstrate because we could not stand in traffic jams because thousands of Palestinians are crossing the fence illegally,” said Adora resident Farhiya Eyal.

The two lane Road 35 that runs east-west from Hebron towards the center of Israel now has regular traffic jams early in the morning and mid-afternoon as the illegal workers travel back and forth.

“This abandonment cannot continue,” said Mount Hebron Regional Council chairman Yochai Damari. “We are in favor of the livelihoods of our Arab neighbors, but it cannot come at the expense of the livelihoods and security of our residents. The event today proves how impossible this reality is for all passers-by.”

Damari said the government should either fix the situation and process all the workers, or simply open the border crossing in order to get rid of the traffic mess.

Israel’s television stations have regularly documented the numerous holes in the security barrier that tens of thousands of Palestinians cross through daily, owing to the borders being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Israeli security officials have been slow to fix holes in the fence and rarely deploy the IDF to prevent the illegal infiltrations.

Two weeks ago, Channel 12 aired details of another hole in the fence in northern Samaria, roughly 100 kilometers north of Adora, where a Palestinian terrorist crossed over and murdered Israeli mother of six Esther Horgan.

In the past year, five terrorist attacks have been carried out in Israel by those who entered through breaches, Channel 12 reports.