Against the background of the shortage of skilled workers in industry in Israel and the desire to leverage the employment opportunities of Palestinian workers in Israel, the government has approved a quota of 500 Palestinian workers from Judea and Samaria for a trial period in the next 3 years. The conflict reduction initiative: “Proof that there are steps that are good for both Israelis and Palestinians”
For the first time: a quota of Palestinian workers from Judea and Samaria was approved for work in the high-tech professions within the State of Israel. The government today (Sunday) approved a quota of 500 Palestinian workers who will be able to work in Israeli high-tech for the next three years, against the background of the severe shortage of skilled workers in Israeli industry, along with leveraging the economic and security benefits of employing Palestinian workers in Israeli territory.
At the present stage, this is a kind of trial period, in which 200 Palestinian workers will be allowed to enter in 2022, 200 more workers in 2023 and another 100 workers in 2024.
To date, the state has approved permits for Palestinians from Judea and Samaria, mainly for work in the construction, agriculture, industry and services industries. Now with the approval of the move led by the Ministry of Regional Cooperation and the Ministry of Economy and Industry, in cooperation with the Ministries of Defense, Finance and Science, and the Israeli high-tech industry – it will be possible to integrate Palestinians with advanced technological knowledge in high-tech industries.
The conflict reduction initiative, which was set up to promote policy measures to reduce the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wrote in a policy paper on the subject that began the move a year and a half ago, because every year 3,000 Palestinian high-tech students graduate from Palestinian universities, and about 75% remain unemployed.
At the same time as the shortage of skilled workers in Israeli industry, the policy paper states that “employing Palestinian engineers in the Israeli high-tech industry becomes a vision of practice – and is evidence that the zero-sum game between Israelis and Palestinians can be broken, and that there are measured .
Under the current outline, a limit will be set according to which the salary of a Palestinian worker in the Israeli high-tech industry will not be less than 150% of the average wage in Israel (which stands at NIS 11,799 in the entire economy without high-tech, and NIS 26,515 in high-tech professions). In other words, Israeli employers will be required to pay Palestinian workers at least 17,700 – lower than the average wage in Israeli high-tech, but still a significant restriction that will not allow employers to employ Palestinian workers on unfair terms and at too low wages – which will also prevent harm to Israeli workers.
At the same time, the government approved a proposal to increase the quota in the services and industrial sectors to a maximum of 8,550 Palestinian workers, as well as a proposal to increase the quota in the Atarot EZ, to a maximum of 3,600 Palestinian workers.
The Minister for Regional Cooperation, Issawi Farage: “Israelis and Palestinians live in a common geographical area, and we must strengthen cooperation and interaction between citizens and economies. The absorption of high-tech workers expresses this desire to connect in all fields, We hope that the move will increase the return on higher education in the Palestinian Authority, and strengthen the high-tech industry in it, as a significant growth engine for strengthening the Palestinian economy. This is a direct continuation of the policy we have been leading in recent months. Along with increasing quotas in other areas, and strengthening the economic-commercial relationship with the PA. ”
The initiative to reduce the conflict said: “This is a policy move that proves once again that there are steps that can be agreed upon by both right and left, which are good for both Israelis and Palestinians, and that can reduce the conflict tomorrow morning. We will promote our move and we will be monitored to ensure that the first 200 visas are issued on 1.1. “