Palestinian laborers fear ban on working for Jews

Monday, August 09, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff  

In early 2011 the Palestinian Authority intends to implement its decision to ban Palestinian Arabs from working for Jews in Judea and Samaria. But the 10,000 Palestinians who are currently employed by Jews, as well as a number of economists, warned that they will simply inflate the PA's woeful unemployment numbers.

Shaher Saed, chairmans of the General Union for Palestinian Workers, told Arab media that while he supports the decision to boycott Jewish goods and services, the PA must create new jobs before forbidding Arabs to take what are some of the best job opportunities available to them.

Because of Israel's minimum wage laws, Palestinian Arabs who work for Jewish contractors or at Israeli factories often make much more than those who work for fellow Palestinians.

Already these workers have been hit hard by Israel's decision, under heavy international pressure, to freeze the building of new Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. Some 7,000 Palestinians work for Israeli contractors who are no longer permitted to build in the area.

But, the Palestinian leadership is likely counting on being able to blame Israel for the increased number of unemployed Palestinians, even if it was Palestinian policies that created the situation. They are also likely counting on American and European taxpayers picking up the bill for their costly boycott.

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