China has demanded that the Israeli government should sign a bilateral labour cooperation agreement so that Chinese construction workers sent to Israel are not employed in settlements in the occupied West Bank, Haaretz newspaper revealed on Sunday.
The newspaper pointed out that the Chinese government has agreed to send thousands of construction workers to Israel, but demanded that they are employed only within Israel. Each worker is to be paid $6,000.
While the Israeli government has agreed to pay the wages demanded, said Haaretz, it is refusing to accept the condition that workers should not be employed on settlement expansion contracts. It is not known if the deal will go ahead with the Chinese compromising on the issue.
Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said that the plan to bring thousands of Chinese workers into the country is intended to speed up construction work to solve the housing problem and bring down prices.