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Outraged residents of Efrat, a few minutes south of Jerusalem, are preparing to protest early Sunday morning in response to the news that Palestinian Authority workers will once again be permitted to enter their community.

In a message to the residents sent Wednesday, the Efrat municipality wrote the following:


“After approximately nine months, construction work in Efrat will resume this Sunday. The army has granted permission for workers to enter and work on closed sites only. Among the conditions imposed by the army are:

– Doubling the number of security guards at building sites
– Tightening the qualifications for security guards
– Preventing the entry of vehicles with white license plates
– Restricting workers from walking outside the construction sites

The council’s security department will closely monitor all phases of entry and exit from Efrat and will conduct inspections throughout the day to ensure adherence by the contractors to the guidelines. We will not tolerate any violations, and any construction site found violating the rules will be closed immediately.

In parallel, we continue our efforts to find foreign workers for construction, gardening, and other tasks. It is important to note that the construction of new apartments and houses is essential in Israel, particularly in Yehuda and Shomron. This is why, after exploring other options that did not yield practical solutions, resulting in ongoing delays, we are resuming construction despite the challenges.”

In response, Efrat residents immediately organized a protest to take place at 6:30 am Sunday, when the Palestinian Authority workers are expected to arrive in the community.

“Do you worry about the safety of your children?,” said a message sent to the residents of the community.

“Did you know that – starting this Sunday – Palestinian workers have received permission to enter Efrat?

Let’s say NO to supporters of terrorism returning to work in Efrat⛔. Bring your children, make signs, bring Israeli flags, and strollers, as we protest this dangerous policy together!

“The safety of Efrat is in your hands‼”

The message emphasized the protest will be “peaceful and safe,” adding that permits for the event were received from police.

Palestinian Authority workers were banned from entering the State of Israel — even with authorized workers’ permits — at the outbreak of the war against Israel launched by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

The ban was revoked December 20, 2023, and between 8,000 and 10,000 Palestinian Authority laborers were again authorized by the IDF Central Command to enter the Jewish State, in response to requests from Israeli employers.

Special security guidelines were issued by the IDF Central Command for Israeli businesses in Judea and Samaria.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir deeply opposed the decision and demanded its reversal at the time, saying, “The blood of the residents of the West Bank is not worth less than that of other Israeli citizens.”

This past March, a poll released by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 71 percent of Arabs living in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza continue to support the October 7 massacre in which 1,200 people were tortured, raped, burned alive and slaughtered by the Hamas-led terrorists, who abducted 253 others.

Support for the atrocities had increased from 57 percent, seen in the previous poll released in December 2023, to 71 percent in Gaza. The figures remained high among Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, but dropped from December’s 82 percent to a “low” of 71 percent.

A majority of respondents in the Palestinian Authority (30 percent) also said that if new parliamentary elections were held, they would vote for Hamas. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah faction received support from just 14 percent of respondents — one percent lower than the 15 percent who responded “none of the above.”

Prior to the start of the war, some 165,000 Palestinian Authority citizens worked in Israel and Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, including in Efrat. Of those, 130,000 possessed legitimate work permits; an estimated 35,000 were working without permits and were illegals.

It’s not clear why the State of Israel has opted to reopen its gates to those whose views are at best unclear. There have been numerous cases in which Palestinian Authority Arabs with permits to enter Israel for employment have later attacked their coworkers, bosses and other Israelis, particularly in the year prior to the start of the war.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.