JERUSALEM: Israel has cancelled 200 out of some 15,500 permits issued to Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to work in its territory after a labourer was accused of planning to carry out a bombing, the Shin Bet security agency said on Thursday.

The suspect, arrested on Oct 30, told interrogators he had been recruited by relatives in the militant group Islamic Jihad to plant a bomb on a bus in southern Israel, the Shin Bet said.

It said the suspect had been indicted in an Israeli court. It was not immediately clear if he had been assigned a lawyer or how he might plead to the charges.

The Shin Bet said that among Israel’s responses was the voiding of around 200 permits of workers who have militant family members.

PA returns body of Druze teen killed in West Bank

“The attempt by terror groups to exploit the jobs of workers in Israel in order to carry out attacks endangers the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of residents of the Gaza Strip,” Defence Minister Benny Gantz tweeted.

Islamic Jihad had no immediate comment Gantz, part of the Israel’s centrist outgoing government, had championed expanding the allotment of entry permits in order ease Gaza’s grinding poverty and stave off conflict.

A double bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday, for which there was no immediate claim of responsibility, killed a teenaged Israeli-Canadian and wounded at least 14 other people.

Israeli teen’s body returned

The body of an Israeli teenager snatched by Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank was returned to his relatives on Thursday, following intense talks to avoid an escalation of violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid had on Wednesday threatened tough reprisals against those who had taken the body of Tiran Fero, a 17-year-old Israeli Druze who was critically wounded in a car accident a day earlier.

The Israeli military said his body was released “as a result of the efforts of the security forces and in coordination with the Palestinian authorities.” The abduction from a Jenin hospital was not immediately claimed by any particular group, but local sources said that Palestinian militants were holding the body in the city’s refugee camp where various factions are present.

Israelis, or their mortal remains, have previously been abducted to be used as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners or the return of the bodies of Palestinians seized by Israel.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2022

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