Residents of the Gaza Strip will no longer be allowed to work in Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday night on the X network. Thousands of cross-border workers from the Gaza Strip were sent back to the Palestinian enclave on Friday. Some of them left Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing in the south of the Strip, Reuters reported. On October 7, the radical Palestinian movement Hamas from Gaza attacked Israel, which responded with retaliatory bombing of the Gaza Strip and, in recent days, ground operations.
“Israel is cutting off all contacts with Gaza. No more Palestinian workers will come from Gaza. Those workers from Gaza who were in Israel on the day the war broke out will be returned to Gaza,” Netanyahu said. He also said that Israel’s war cabinet had decided to deduct funds for the Gaza Strip from funds sent to the Palestinian Authority.
About 18,500 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip had work permits to enter Israel before the war broke out, according to BBC News, Israel’s Defense Ministry’s COGAT unit, which oversees civilian activities in the Palestinian territories, said.
Workers who left for the Gaza Strip on Friday say they were detained and mistreated by Israeli authorities after the attack, according to Reuters. “We served them, worked for them in houses, restaurants and markets for the lowest prices, and yet we were humiliated,” said Jamal Ismail, a laborer from the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
On behalf of the hundreds of Geza residents who were in Israel at the time of the October 7 attack, two human rights organizations filed a petition with the Israeli Supreme Court. In it, they request that these workers, who resided legally in Israel, be released to the West Bank or at least be allowed to meet their relatives. The petition talks about 568 Gazans who have been detained since the war began. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ronen gave the government until Wednesday to respond, The Times of Israel reported.