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22 Feb 2024

Israel/OPT: Replacement of Palestinian construction workers with migrants pressing families into poverty, 'struggling to make ends meet'

In February 2024, France24 reported on the economic impact of the replacement of Palestinian construction workers with Indian migrant workers in Israel. The report notes that Palestinian workers have been left unemployed after being barred from Israel, with work permits not renewed and check points between the Occupied West Bank and Israel closed.

The report says over 100,000 Palestinian workers use to cross into Israel daily from the Occupied West Bank. Left without work, families have been ‘struggling to make ends meet’, surviving on credit, and are accumulating large debts. In an interview, a Palestinian construction worker says he is being replaced by Indian workers and highlights how he has ‘nothing’ due to the lack of money coming in.

The report says 20,000 Indian workers will be brought into Israel by the end of March – a process deemed not quick enough by the construction industry, who say the sector is in crises due to the lack of workers. In a construction conference in Tel Aviv, the industry expresses anger at prospective potential closure due to the lack of workers.

The report emphasises the economic impact is only ‘just beginning to bite’.