The Israel Defense Forces recently began to distribute "resident" stickers to West Bank settlers to be affixed to their cars' windshields. The stickers are intended to allow settlers to drive quickly through army checkpoints along the Green Line.
Following Friday night's terror attack in Tel Aviv, it was repeatedly suggested that the suicide bomber was driven to the site of the attack by an Arab Israeli driver. (A gag order has been issued on the investigation's details.)
Since the beginning of the intifada, terror organizations increasingly have taken advantage of Arab Israelis, with or without their knowledge. The Shin Bet security service said that since the beginning of the violence until August 2004, 111 Arab Israelis have been involved in attacks or the planning of attacks.
The relative calm of recent weeks has meant that far more Arab Israelis are making trips across the Green Line from Israel to visit relatives in the territories. Most of these visits are completely innocent, but concerns that terrorist and criminal elements can take advantage of the ease with which Arab Israelis, whose cars have yellow Israeli license plates, can cross checkpoints along the Green Line has prompted the army to tighten checks on such vehicles. However, settlers have sharply criticized the army for delaying Israeli vehicles at the checkpoints.
The army came up with the sticker idea in order to avoid legal problems it expected if it tried to mark cars driven by Israeli Arabs for further inspection. The army began distributing the stickers a month ago, on an experimental basis, to security coordinators in settlements in the Qalqilyah-Tul Karm area. They, in turn, passed them out to settlers. According to the new system, cars with stickers are not to be checked at the checkpoints.
The IDF does not check all cars driven by Arab Israelis but only those that the commander at a checkpoint suspects or if there are intelligence warnings.www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/545680.htmlE-mail this article