Israel approves employment of 500 Palestinian hi-tech workers

Tel Aviv: For the first time, the Israeli government approved on Sunday a quota of 500 permits for Palestinian workers to work in the Israeli hi-tech industry.

The permits will be granted for Palestinians from the West Bank, and the permits will be granted gradually, reaching the maximum number of 500 in 2024.

Palestinian workers were previously allowed to work in Israel’s construction, agriculture, traditional industry and services. Approximately 80,000 Palestinians work in Israel. The average wage in Israel is higher than that in the Palestinian territories.

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The latest move is also meant to help the hi-tech industry in Israel which suffers from a lack of skilled labour and thousands of unfilled positions.

“This will be an alternative for employers who look to outsource from other countries,” read a statement from the Ministry of Regional Cooperation, which led the initiative together with the ministries of economy and industry, defense, finance and science.

“Israelis and Palestinian live in a shared geographical area and we must increase cooperation and interactions between the citizens and the economies,” said Issawi Freij, the Regional Cooperation minister.

“We hope this will strengthen the Palestinian hi-tech sector as a major engine of growth for the Palestinian economy,” he added. 

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