Israel Purposely Laying Ambushes for Palestinian Workers in Transit

Since October 2019, B’Tselem has documented 36 cases of Palestinian workers who have been wounded by live ammunition fired by soldiers or border police while attempting to enter or return from Israel through gaps in its illegal Separation Barrier. Many of these incidents have taken place in the town of Far’un, in the Tulkarm Governorate in the northwestern West Bank, while others have occurred in other parts of this district or in the adjacent Governorate of Jenin.

Palestinian workers enter and exit Israel through a gap in the Security Barrier.

Palestinian workers enter and exit Israel through a gap in the Security Barrier. (Photo: B’Tselem)

Tens of thousands of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank enter Israel every day to work without a permit. This “illicit” traffic – which Israel is fully aware of – serves the interests of the occupier’s economy by guaranteeing cheap, disempowered labor. However, despite its ostensible acquiescence to the daily migrations, Israeli soldiers, either lying in wait in front of gaps in the Separation Barrier or patrolling in jeeps along its security road, open live fire at Palestinian workers crossing through these openings.

These shootings are neither spontaneous nor independent initiatives by individual soldiers or commanders, but the purposeful implementation of policy; one that clearly “is not — and cannot be — legal,” according to B’Tselem. The NGO writes, “The workers do not endanger anyone, and all they ask for, as the military knows full well, is to provide for their families. Yet as far as Israel is concerned, this is policy.” Furthermore, because the violence is perpetrated as an implementation of policy, “no one will be held accountable for these acts — neither the soldiers who fired the shots, nor the commanders who planned the ambushes, nor the legal advisors who signed-off on the policy, nor senior military officials.”

For more details, read the B’Tselem report.