Government approves 5,000 more Palestinians for work in Israel
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Government approves 5,000 more Palestinians for work in Israel

Move aims to improve ties with PA; laborers to bolster agriculture and construction industries

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Palestinian workers at a checkpoint near Qalqilya in 2009. (Matanya Tausig/Flash90)
Palestinian workers at a checkpoint near Qalqilya in 2009. (Matanya Tausig/Flash90)

The Israeli government on Thursday approved the entry of 5,000 more Palestinian workers into the country.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz suggested the extra permits in an effort to improve ties with the Palestinian Authority and to bolster Israel’s construction industry, the Finance Ministry said.

The 5,000 permits will bring the total number issued to Palestinians in recent months to 10,000.

The laborers will be employed in the agriculture and construction industries.

In the 2000s, Israel moved away from Palestinian labor because of security concerns, welcoming instead thousands of workers from the Far East to take their place as cheap farm hands or construction workers.

However, nationalist sentiment has recently turned against migrant workers, many of whom stay beyond the amount of time allotted by their permits, and authorities have once again turned to Palestinians to fill the low-paying jobs.

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