Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Ministry of Defense
The Shaar Ephraim crossing for goods and PA pedestrians.

At the end of an undercover investigation, Israel Police officers, detectives of Judea and Samaria District, and the Tax Authority’s Yahalom unit arrested 14 Israelis suspected of issuing illegal entry permits to Palestinian Authority Arabs.

The undercover investigation was conducted over the past year against several suspects, including IDF active and reserve officers and soldiers, on suspicion of issuing entry permits to PA Arabs on a large scale in exchange for money.


The main suspect, 53, a resident of the Israeli Arab town of Sakhanin, in the Lower Galilee, traded entry permits to Israel for a fee through his son, who is a career IDF soldier serving at the Shaar Ephraim crossing for goods and PA pedestrians near Toll Highway 6, some 12 miles east of Netanya. The permits were given under the pretext of letting in agricultural workers who are sought by area farmers.

The investigation further revealed that the suspect operated a network of PA Arab and Israeli brokers whose job was to locate PA Arabs looking for entry permits into Israel and collect fees from them in exchange for those permits.

On Monday morning, as the secret part of the investigation had concluded, police officers and detectives of the Judea and Samaria District, together with Military Police investigators, raided the homes of the suspects in several localities in Israel and the PA and arrested 14 suspects for questioning.

They are facing charges of receiving articles fraudulently, bribery and collusion in the bribery of a public servant, violation of the prohibition of money laundering, and extortion using threats.

Later on Monday, depending on the findings of the interrogations, the detainees will be brought to be arraigned before the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.


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