Knesset Aims to "Dry Up" West Bank Chop Shops

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
Ynet,com reports that 90 percent of vehicles stolen in Israel are taken to the West Bank, where they're dismantled and used as spare parts for garages serving… Israeli clients. To drop the hammer on the chops shops, MK Moshe Kahlon (Likud) is introducing a bill that makes it a crime for Israeli citizens to service their cars across the "Green Line." Why punish Israelis with a three-year jail sentence instead of going after illegal parts trade? We're thinking it's a blend of politics and practicality. MK Kahlon summarized the latter justification most eloquently: "Our goal is not to fight the flies, but to dry out the swamp. Once we reach a stage in which they don't have customers, they won't have to steal cars in order to obtain spare parts."
Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Jul 18, 2007

    I don't completely understand this one. Are parts in such short supply that it is cheaper for the shop to waste labor to steal a car remove needed part, then replace the part in the broken car. It seams like the cost to the owner and the shop still makes this practice more expensive than buying the part.

  • VLAD VLAD on Jul 18, 2007

    Haven't been to LA, eh? :-)

  • Hal Hal on Jul 19, 2007

    I doubt labor costs much in the west bank since unemployment is 50% or something.

  • Roger Hislop Roger Hislop on Jul 19, 2007

    Maybe because getting parts legally and timeously into the West Bank through Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints and multiple layers of customs harrasment is an inescapable part of the cost of doing business legitimately in Palestine? Love the logic -- "we make doing business legitimately insanely hard for Palestinians, then wipe out their customer base overnight by draconian and unfair legislation". Don't try address the problem, no, it's better to crush the entire West Bank automotive repair industry out of existence. According to several comments I've seen, Israelis prefer taking their cars to West Bank because local repair shops are hopeless... Supposedly the bill allows for trade with "licensed" garages in the West Bank... but the reality? They're fscked.