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Hundreds of Palestinian workers reportedly hired by Israeli security to construct and rebuild Israel-Gaza Border fence

Government ministers concerned with risk and outraged by 'scandalous decision' – as if 'spitting in the public's face”

Palestinians break into the Israeli side of Israel-Gaza border fence after gunmen infiltrated areas of southern Israel, October 7, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa)

Palestinians from the West Bank – have begun working on the construction of a new security fence on the border with Gaza after about 3,000 terrorists breached the barrier on Oct. 7 and invaded southern Israel to perpetrate a massacre of at least 1,200 people and the kidnapping of at least 240 others into Gaza.

Ynet News reported on Thursday that the Israeli security services have employed hundreds of Palestinian workers to rebuild the new border fence and repair the existing one that was damaged when the terrorists and their accomplices launched the surprise invasion last fall.

The hiring of Palestinian workers from the West Bank was made despite the Israeli Security Cabinet's decision to ban workers from entering Israel after the Oct. 7 attack.

Ynet reported that IDF soldiers who serve in the Gaza border area, or cross into and return from Gaza, have witnessed Palestinian workers “engaged in engineering work on breaches in the new fence, which was damaged at dozens of points along the border at the start of the war.”

According to the defense establishment, the construction requires many workers and is done under constant supervision. Nevertheless, Palestinians are working close to some of the farmers who have returned to the south and are not far from southern Israeli communities.

However, Israeli security services say that there is no other choice than to employ Palestinian workers, as the creation of a buffer zone between Israel and Gaza could take months.

According to Ynet, Shin Bet domestic intelligence and the IDF have “repeatedly recommended” that Israel allow the re-entry of up to 100,000 Palestinian workers into Israel to prevent a “violent escalation” and that a decision was made as a “form of compromise” to let thousands of Palestinians work “in settlements or critical points in Israel, with the project near the Gaza border likely being categorized as one of these.”

The news of the return of Palestinian workers was met with outrage by some government ministers and members of the Knesset.

“A scandalous decision by the Defense Minister to allow Palestinian laborers to erect the security fence on the Gaza border is unimaginable and violates the Economic Cabinet's decision. The Defense Ministry is mistaken to think that it is above the government's decisions,” Economy Minister Nir Barkat wrote in a post on 𝕏.

“The Economic Cabinet has determined that no Palestinian workers will enter Israel and everyone must respect the decision on the matter. The people who brought us to October 7 have not learned a lesson. Likewise, the attempt to whitewash the employment of Palestinians by connecting them to the security fence is spitting in the public's face.”

The head of the Yisrael Beytenu party Avigdor Liberman also voiced his concerns on 𝕏.

“The report saying hundreds of workers from the West Bank are currently employed by Israeli security services and are taking part in engineering work on breaches in the border fence that was destroyed on October 7 by Hamas terrorists is a shocking one that shows most clearly that our old, defeatist beliefs are still around,” Liberman wrote.

“If there is a shortage of workers, foreign workers should be brought, and risks shouldn't be taken on the citizens of Israel's backs. I call on the Israeli government to wake up quickly,” he added.

In a statement, the Defense Ministry claimed that only four Palestinian workers were employed.

“The employment of workers in security projects is subject to security directives. Before their employment, contractor workers undergo a basic classification process, and close supervision is carried out on their employment.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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