IDF plans to allow 30,000 extra Palestinians to work in Israel

Israel’s cabinet is preparing to vote on the military’s plan to bring an extra 30,000 Palestinians to work inside Israel.

The plan, whose main points have already been approved by the inner cabinet, was shown last month to the Israel Defense Forces’ top brass, including Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai.

Furthermore, the principle of the plan enjoys broad support in the defense establishment — since the beginning of the current escalation at the beginning of October, senior IDF staff have been proposing to allow tens of thousands more Palestinians to work inside Israel as a way to stem the violence.

Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot have also both indicated their opposition to collective punishment — e.g. denying work permits en masse in the wake of terror attacks — and have been careful to draw a distinction between terrorists and the rest of the Judea and Samaria’s Palestinian population, the majority of whom are not involved in the violence.

Habayit Hayehudi head Naftali Bennett has also voiced his support for such a move, as has Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, which would also be responsible for vetting all Palestinians being given permits to work in Israel.

Two terror attacks in the current wave were carried out by Palestinians working in Israel. Around 58,000 Palestinians have Israeli work visas and about 27,000 work in industrial zones in Judea and Samaria.

The extra 30,000 workers would be employed in areas such as construction, manufacturing and agriculture.