Israeli forces have launched a campaign of ‘sweeps’ against Palestinians without permits, between Northern Gaza and the West Bank, in the lead-up to the Passover and Easter holidays.According to Ma’an, the police department of the Lakhish Regional Council said that, in the past week, 49 Palestinians have been arrested in the sweeps, including 28 at a construction site in Ashdod, 18 in Kiryat Gat, two in Ashkelon, and one in Sderot.
LRC police spokesperson Lior Ben-Simon stated that all of the detainees had been brought to the police station in Ashdod for further investigation.
Ben-Simon added that the majority of the detained were from the southern West Bank region of Hebron, and were between the ages of 24 and 34.
Nearly 100,000 Palestinians work in the officially recoginized state of Israel, attracted by the prospect of wages substantially higher than those available in the occupied territories.
Permits, however, are notoriously difficult to attain and, as a result, large numbers of Palestinians work without the appropriate documentation.
According to an October report released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 34,600 of all Palestinians working in Israel lack a permit to do so.
At the end of January 2014, 1,415 Palestinians were being held in prison for being in Israel without permits, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.
According to labor rights group Kav LaOved, strict quotas are maintained by Israel for Palestinian workers, and even those with permits often spend hours waiting at crowded military checkpoints and are restricted from using Israeli public transportation.