Israel deports 12 Malawians sent to work on farms amid war for ‘breach of contracts’

LILONGWE, Malawi — Malawi says Israel has deported 12 workers who had walked off farms and orchards, left deserted by the Gaza conflict, that they had been sent to work on.

The workers “in breach of their contracts… abandoned their lawful employment at the farms to start working at the bakery”, Malawi’s government spokesman Moses Kunkuyu says in a statement.

Since November, hundreds of Malawians have flown to Israel as part of a government labour export program aimed at finding jobs for young people and generating desperately needed foreign exchange.

Many Malawians remain without work as the country has been gripped by an economic crisis that has seen massive government spending cuts.

Israeli farms, a valuable part of the economy, have lost thousands of labors since the devastating October 7 Hamas terror attacks, which triggered the Gaza war.

Dozens of foreign workers were among the 252 people kidnapped during the Hamas-led onslaught.

Lilongwe cautions the remaining workers, many of them young men and women, that a breach of contract will “not be tolerated.”

Kunkuyu urges workers to “desist from such behavior as it puts this country into disrepute.”

After being processed, four of the 12 workers arrived back in the southern African country on Tuesday while the other eight would arrive on Wednesday, the state says.

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