The deadly attack at the Barkan industrial area on Sunday raises questions about the security checks at the entrances to industrial and commerce areas in the West Bank where Israelis and Palestinians work and shop side-by-side.
"There is no doubt that this morning everyone is more alert," said a security guard who works at the Barkan industrial area. "The security checks are stricter. However, the Palestinians have to go to work, this is their livelihood."
Two Israelis—Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 28, and Ziv Hagbi, 35—were murdered on Sunday at the Alon Group recycling factory by terrorist Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na'alwa, 23, from the village of Shweiki near Tulkarem.
Thousands of Palestinians are employed at these industrial and commercial centers. Barkan alone employs some 3,000 Palestinians.
The defense establishment has to decide whether to allow relatively free movement in the West Bank or to increase the security measures, which would mean delays, intrusive security checks, tension and inconvenience.
"There is a security gap at the industrial areas in the West Bank, and it's not a secret," said a senior official at one of the West Bank's settlements. "It doesn't make sense for 3,000 Palestinians to go through metal detectors within one hour. It's impossible to inspect all of them."
The fact that the Palestinians do not cross the Green Line, remaining in the West Bank to work, also constitute a problem.
"In every Green Line crossing there is special system that automatically rejects work permits of Palestinians who have carried out a terror attack or are related to those who did," he explained. "However, the industrial areas inside the West Bank don't have these systems."
Palestinians enter almost all industrial areas in the West Bank while presenting a personal hourly entry permit. The permit is issued by the Civil Administration and under certain conditions that the employer has to comply with as well.
In the industrial zone in Kiryat Arba, which is divided into two areas, there is a metal detector at only some of the entrances, through which vehicles can also enter. The situation at the Barkan industrial zone is similar, where Palestinians enter after presenting work permits, with some entering with a vehicle.
Amid the multiple terror attacks carried out at the industrial area in the Gush Etzion Junction, the IDF has set up several posts there.
The posts are manned most of the day. In addition, there is an inspection post at the entrance to the complex, but it is not always manned.
Since the Sha'ar Binyamin industrial zone—where 14-year-old Palestinians carried out a stabbing attack, killing 21-year-old Sgt. Tuvia Yanai Weissman in 2016—is a commercial center, Palestinians entering the complex do not have to go through a security check.