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Immigrant’s Murder in West Bank Raises Questions About Employment

The murder of an immigrant worker at a West Bank construction site, possibly by Arab terrorists, has triggered calls for a re-evaluation of how newcomers are employed in the administered territories.

The calls for a reassessment came after the body of Igor Gurgul was discovered Sunday near Ma’aleh Adumim, a West Bank town east of Jerusalem.

Gurgul, 32, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, had immigrated from Ukraine three years ago. Last month he began working for a private security company as a guard at a construction site along the road connecting Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

Police suspect Gurgul was murdered by Arab terrorists, though they have not ruled out a criminal motive.

Initial investigations have shown he was murdered last Friday. He allegedly was attacked by at least two men at his bungalow on the construction site.

He apparently struggled with his attackers but was overpowered. The assailants took his gun and shot him several times.

The body was discovered Sunday morning by an Arab laborer at the construction site. Several of the laborers at the site were subsequently detained for questioning.

The employment of new immigrants from the former Soviet Union to serve as guards in the territories without proper training was sharply criticized Sunday by the Cabinet and the army.

Immigrant Absorption Minister Yair Tsaban said that no one should have allowed an inexperienced recent immigrant to work as a lone guard anywhere in the territories.

Tsaban challenged the minister of police to re-evaluate the entire system of private security companies in the territories “and shake up that system.”

The Israel Defense Force released a statement indicating it had given explicit instructions to the security company that had employed Gurgul to have at least two men on duty at the construction site at all times.

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