Israel detains 52 Palestinian workers overnight

03:00 May 15 2015 near Modi'in Illit settlement

Israel detains 52 Palestinian workers overnight Israel detains 52 Palestinian workers overnight
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained 52 Palestinian workers overnight Friday near the Modin settlement west of Ramallah as they were heading to work in Israel without permits.

Israeli media reported that an Israeli police unit and border guards searched a commercial vehicle normally used for carrying goods on its way to central Israel from Latrun road after the deemed it suspicious.

The police found and arrested 26 Palestinian workers without working permits hiding inside of the vehicle after a spare tire fell from the vehicle, forcing the driver to pull over.

Later, another vehicle of the same type came under suspicion, and Israeli police found another 26 workers; the driver fled the scene when the police stopped the car.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled in the West Bank under the ongoing Israeli military occupation.

According to the group, the quota for work permits as of March 2014 was 47,350, most of which have been utilized.

Workers enter Israel by one of 11 military checkpoints in the West Bank, which are severely overcrowded and routinely subject workers to humiliating inspections.

B'Tselem's field staff previously presented their findings of overcrowded checkpoints to the head of the Land Crossings Authority at the Ministry of Defense, who replied that that are no long lines and no overcrowding at checkpoints.

As thousands of work permits are denied by Israel, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics estimates 30 percent of Palestinians work in Israel illegally.

These workers are often exploited by contractors who know that they have no other choice but to accept lower pay.

All workers arrested Friday night were reportedly transferred to the Modin police station for interrogation and then transferred to detention.
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