Romania stopped sending labourers to work in Israel two years ago, it has been reported by Haaretz. According to the Israeli newspaper, this was because the Israeli government refused to sign an agreement with its Romanian counterpart that such labourers would not be employed on illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. News of this has only just leaked out, said Haaretz.
In part this explains the severe shortage of labourers in Israel and the slowing down of settlement construction. The Israeli Contractors Federation has called for the government to find an alternative source of labour to compensate for this shortage.
The head of the Foreign Labour Committee in the Israeli Knesset, Michal Rosen, criticised the government for refusing to sort out the dispute with Romania. “Israeli residents are being damaged because of the government’s policy in the occupied territories,” she said.