• Wednesday, June 19, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Israel seeks 100,000 Indian workers to replace Palestinian labour: Report

In May, Israel signed a deal India that will allow 42,000 Indians to work in Israel

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) uses a spinning wheel as his wife Sara Netanyahu (C) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi look on during a visit to Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad on January 17, 2018. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

ISRAEL has sought 100,000 Indian workers to substitute Palestinian labourers, according to reports.

The action was taken in response to the recent cancellation of work licenses for tens of thousands of Palestinian employees in Israel following attacks by Hamas last month.

Reports said that the Israeli construction industry contemplated hiring a sizable number of workers from India in order to address the labour deficit.

The Israel Builders Association stated they are in discussions with India, awaiting the Israeli government’s decision to approve the request, reported the Voice of America.

Association vice-president, Haim Feiglin, said that negotiations with India were underway.

They target to employ between 50,000 to 100,000 workers from India to restore operations in the sector.

The immediate response from the Indian minister of external affairs regarding the report was unavailable.

Palestinian workers typically constitute about 25 percent of the Israeli construction industry’s workforce.

Feiglin highlighted the impact of the conflict, stating, “We are in a situation of conflict, and about a quarter of our workforce, the Palestinian workers, are absent and unable to work in Israel.”

Approximately 10 per cent of the affected Palestinian workers originate from Gaza, a focal point of the ongoing conflict, with the remainder hailing from the West Bank.

Israel and India signed an agreement in May permitting 42,000 Indian workers to engage in various sectors in Israel, specifically construction and nursing.

During the visit of Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen to India on May 9, the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Temporary Employment of Workers in Specific Labor Market Sectors in Israel was established.

Notably, Israel recently deported thousands of Palestinian workers from the Gaza Strip back to the embattled region.

The transition in Israel’s labour market, now favouring Indian labour, is poised to substantially increase remittances back to India.

Ties between India and Israel has notably grown stronger due to trade, with India becoming a substantial purchaser of Israeli defense goods.

The recent interaction between Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian counterpart Narendra Modi has significantly contributed to reinforcing the bilateral relationship, notably demonstrated by Modi’s landmark trip to Israel in 2017, the first such visit by an Indian head of state, further solidifying the bond between the two nations.

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