Palestinians Flood Into Israel for Weekend Leisure

IDF turns a blind eye as Palestinians seeking reprieve from Corona quarantine set sights on Israeli beaches

By Ryan Jones | | Topics: palestinians
Palestinians enjoy a day at the beach in Tel Aviv.
Photo: Illustration - Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israel is usually pretty vigilant about preventing unauthorized infiltration of its borders. But over the weekend, tens of thousands of Palestinians casually walked into Israel-proper, and no one did a thing to stop it.

The Palestinian Authority-controlled territories have been under lockdown amid a rise in coronavirus infections. Israelis endured such a situation a few months ago, so can empathize with desperate Palestinians seeking a bit of reprieve.

Late last week a rumor began to spread on social media that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had opened several crossings along the West Bank security fence and were allowing Palestinians to freely enter Israel, or at least were turning a blind eye. Typically, Palestinians require a special permit to cross into Israel-proper.

It didn’t take long before tens of thousands of Palestinians, including entire families, were streaming to these crossing points, where they were astonished to find that the rumors were true. The crossings were completely opened. No one was being checked. More than that, buses were waiting on the Israeli side to take the quarantine-weary Palestinians to beaches or other tourist destinations like Jaffa and Acre.

Speaking to Israel’s Channel 12 News, a Palestinian source said at the weekend, “Everyone is over there with you right now.”

According to the Palestinians, Israel permitted the mass infiltration so that these weekend visitors would pump more money into Israel’s hard-hit tourism industry. It should also be noted that Israel regularly permits more limited infiltrations of Palestinian workers and visitors as a means of “releasing pressure” from the volatile West Bank, and thus lessening the chance of another terrorist uprising.

Whatever the reason, the influx of Palestinian visitors to Israel’s beaches this weekend was reminiscent of the years prior to the First Intifada and the subsequent “Oslo Accords,” when there was no Palestinian Authority (read: PLO) and Israelis and Palestinians routinely mingled in one another’s “territories.”


Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!


/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member


/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months

every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

Leave a Reply

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter