The Israeli Builders Association has appealed to the Israeli government to allow hiring of nearly 100,000 Indians workers after Tel Aviv revoked work permit of thousands of Palestinians from Gaza. The crackdown on Palestinian workers came amid Israel's ongoing war with Hamas.
Voice of America, the state-owned news network and international radio broadcaster of the US, reported that the Israeli construction industry has been facing shortage of labourers after Israel sent thousands of Palestinians back to Gaza. According to the report, the industry sought to replace about 90,000 Palestinians working in Israel with nearly 100,000 Indians. According to the builders association, 10 per cent of the Palestinians were from war-torn Gaza and the rest were from the occupied West Bank.
'Palestinians make up almost 25 per cent work force'
"The situation of the construction sector is already very complicated. We are at war and Palestinian workers, who make up almost 25 per cent of the human resources in this sector, are not coming to work. They are neither trying to come nor are they allowed to work in Israel," Israel Builders Association vice president Haim Feiglin told Voice of America.
Feiglin said that the chances of Palestinians working again in Israel appeared bleak. The association has been awaiting the Israeli government's approval on allowing Indians workers to enter the country.
"We are now negotiating with India. We are waiting for an approval from the Israeli government, and we hope to engage 50-100 thousand workers from India to get the sector back up and running ," he said.
Indian and Israeli foreign ministers signed agreement in May
Earlier in May, Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Israeli counterpart inked an agreement to allow approximately 42,000 Indians to work in various industries in Israel. Of these, 34,000 will be designated for the construction sector and 8,000 for the elder care.
"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,” a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Population and Immigration had said at the time.