Palestinians Sneak into Israel to Seek Work

[AFP] Joseph Krauss - Every day Palestinian laborers sneak into Israel by the dozens from the West Bank for work. The laborers can make up to $50 a day at construction sites and factories in Israel, up to four or five times what they would make in the West Bank. Before the second intifada, which began in September 2000, some 146,000 Palestinians were working inside Israel or the settlements, according to the International Monetary Fund. "We are always looking for new methods - if the Israelis crack down on refrigerated trucks, we use ambulances; if they start stopping ambulances, we use hearses," says Abu Ali, a smuggler. Israeli police have arrested more than 16,000 undocumented Palestinian workers since the start of the year, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. In the vast majority of cases the smuggled people are quickly sent back to the West Bank. Abu Ali insists he would never help an aspiring suicide bomber to enter for fear of being caught by Israeli security forces. "The Israelis catch them before they ever leave the West Bank 95% of the time," he says.

2009-07-24 06:00:00

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