Israel said set to replace all Palestinian workers with tens of thousands of foreigners

Israel plans to permanently replace all Palestinian laborers with foreign workers, in a major, ambitious initiative aimed at ridding the country of a perceived security threat, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

Thousands of construction and agriculture workers from the West Bank have been barred from entering Israel for work since Hamas’s mass invasion and onslaught of October 7. Hamas reportedly gathered some of its intelligence for the attack from Gazans who had permits to work in Israel.

To prevent a potential repeat in the West Bank, Kan says the government does not intend to allow the Palestinian workers back after the ongoing war.

The reported plan by the finance, interior and labor ministries would see Israel bring in 25,500 workers from Sri Lanka, 20,000 from China, 17,000 from India, 13,000 from Thailand and 6,000 from Moldova. In some cases, this will require signing new deals with countries involved, and diplomatic work is being done to advance these deals, the report says.

Additionally, the government intends to incentivize Israelis to work in construction and agriculture, as well promoting technologies that could cut the number of employees needed in these fields.

The plan is said to have been okayed by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, with the economic ministerial cabinet set to discuss it in two weeks, followed by a government vote.

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