Eyewitnesses cited by Reuters say Israeli authorities have sent “large numbers” of Palestinians who had previously worked in Israeli territory with proper work permits back to the Gaza Strip. Forced transfers to the war zone take place through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which under normal circumstances is only used for the transportation of goods.
In addition to people who lived permanently in the Gaza Strip and worked in Israel with proper permits, it is also supposed to be Gazans who temporarily resided in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
According to accounts cited by Reuters, after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, they were held in detention by Israeli authorities in “very unsatisfactory conditions” and then sent back to the Gaza Strip with no choice. “We served them (To the Jews, editor’s note) in their homes, in restaurants and markets, we worked for the lowest possible wages (…) And now they are humiliating us like this,” Reuters quotes one of the deportees.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement on Thursday saying “Gaza workers who were in Israeli territory on the day the war started will be sent back to Gaza.”