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Israel brings in 10,000 Indian labourers to replace Palestinians 

May 29, 2023 at 11:26 am

Construction workers build illegal settlements in the West Bank [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Instead of relying on Palestinian workers, Israel has decided to import 10,000 workers from India. The Indian Government has signed an agreement with Israel to bring 10,000 Indian workers to the country. Half of these workers are destined for the construction sector, with the remaining half designated for nursing roles. The arrival of these workers will be staged, with 2,500 construction and an equal number of nursing workers due in the first year, according to reports on the Walla website.

The Population and Immigration Authority in Israel states that the incoming workers from India are diligent, experienced and fluent in English. They are expected to meet the growing demand for labour in Israel, specifically in the nursing and construction fields.

As part of the efforts to reach this agreement, a multi-ministerial mission visited India last March to work on a blueprint for employing workers in the nursing and construction sectors. The delegation toured training centres and expressed its admiration for the training provided to the workers before their arrival.

At this stage, following the drafting of agreements by specialists from both sides, matters stand at the final phase of ratifying the agreements by the governments. The spokesman for the Ministry of Population and Immigration stated, “We expect the agreements to be approved shortly, and we will soon be able to start setting up the necessary mechanisms to employ skilled labour in a proper and supervised manner.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian workers provide a vital contribution to the construction sector in the Israeli market. However, security incidents, military escalation, and the absence of a political solution make the reliance on workers from India – unaffected by security situations on their way to work – an attractive and highly significant factor for the Israeli economy, according to the Hebrew website.

Based on the Worker’s Voice website (Kav LaOved), the number of Palestinian workers in Israel has steadily increased in recent years, particularly in the construction industry, the largest employer of Palestinian workers in Israel. As of mid-2020, more than 80,000 permanent workers were employed in Israel and about 60,000 in the construction industry.

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