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4,000 Palestinian workers held by Israel for questioning into Hamas attack

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published October 17,2023
(AA File Photo)

Approximately 4,000 Palestinian workers are being held by Israel for questioning in connection with a cross-border attack by the Hamas group, according to Israeli media.

"Those workers entered Israel in the week that preceded the attack," said Israeli Channel 12.

It said the workers are being investigated for any possible link to the attack.

"At this stage, those workers will be kept in Israel and will not be returned to Gaza," it said.

Thousands of Palestinians with work permits were allowed to work in Israel before the Hamas attack.

Eleven days into the conflict, Israel's bombardment and blockade of the Gaza Strip has continued, with more than 1 million people displaced -- almost half of Gaza's population, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The fighting began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood -- a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.

Hamas said the Oct. 7 incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased violence by Israeli settlers.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

At least 2,848 Palestinians, including 750 children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, while the death toll from such Israeli attacks in the West Bank has reached 60.

More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed in the armed conflict.