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Monday, April 24, 2017

Times of Israel reports:

The Defense Ministry suspended single-day work permits for Palestinians to enter Israel Sunday, hours after a Palestinian teen injured four in a stabbing attack on Tel Aviv’s beachfront.

The attacker, identified as an 18-year-old from the Nablus area of the West Bank, apparently entered Israel with one such pass, as part of a group known as “Natural Peace Tours,” which is supposed to forge relationships between Palestinians and Israelis, a defense official said. He was not named.

The ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said the one-day permits granted to different organizations and groups will be “frozen” until an investigation of the matter can be conducted, the official said.

Four people were hospitalized with light injuries after the attacker, who has not been named, went on a stabbing spree in the Leonardo Beach hotel on Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Street, near the city’s famous beach, on Sunday afternoon.
There is very little about "Natural Peace Tours" online, but it appears to be more a for-profit tourist agency than a "peace NGO."  One Facebook page that is no longer online looked like this:


The other Facebook page with that name has very little description but a number of photos of what are apparently Arabs taking tours and having fun in Israel - at the Lebanon border, at the beach, touring old Tiberias.



The best description I could find was a 2010 article in MEPeace.org from a Tel Aviv man named Neri Bar-On:


The idea is to provide a tourist experience for people, Natural Peace Tours provide the services to get the permit plan the tour and arrange the comfort of the customers but for us this is not "Palestinians" these are customers who get the service the deserve and we support them to enjoy the day.

check the photos here
Natural Peace Tours does not think in "conflict terms" we think of human experience term and we want to provide the best experience for the people who decided to spend their day of vocation [sic] with us.

This is a different approach then many "Peace activists" and it is build on Palestinians and Israelis who work together with "business" and "service" mind as it should be in the future of peace we all desire.

we have tours to Tiberia, Akka, Haifa, Tel-Aviv, el hama sorriya, and we provide service to groups and individuals of Palestinians only. all our work is legal and we measure our success with the income Palestinian get from this activity that injected back into the Palestinian economy.

the face book is open only for Palestinians and Arab speakers.
we do not address any political issue, we do not discuss it and do not try to make any political statement. we provide human experience with what exist in our reality we respect all interpretations as private.
Despite its name, the group is not really about peace, but about providing a way for Arabs to visit Israel, doing all the paperwork for a price. I saw nothing about any real interaction with Israelis in these tours.

An unnamed spokesperson for the group told Walla! that they were cooperating with police, and that the stabber could not have taken the knife from their breakfast because they went through security. He claimed that most of the people in that group were women and children.

(h/t Yoel)




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