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10 Nov 2023


India should refuse Israeli calls to replace Palestinian workers with Indian nationals

The Indian government should refuse to enter into any agreement with Israel to allow Indian nationals to replace Palestinian workers from Gaza and the West Bank, FairSquare said today. Any such deal would further enable Israel’s forced displacement of the Palestinian population and support illegal settlements, in addition to leaving Indian workers vulnerable to serious abuse and exploitation.

On 1 November, the Israeli Builder Association announced it hoped to bring as many as 100,000 Indian workers into the country to replace Palestinian workers whose permits to work in Israel were arbitrarily cancelled after the 7 October attacks. Thousands were illegally detained in Israel amidst credible allegations of serious abuses including torture. United Nations human experts have since warned of “a risk of genocide against the Palestinian People”. On 9 November, a spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that Israel had not made any specific request, but indicated that India would be open to such an agreement saying that any initiative “if taken up, would be long-term.”...

India’s major trade unions, including the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), have issued a joint statement calling on India not to send any workers to Israel, saying such a step would amount to ‘complicity’ with Israel’s illegal actions...