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10 thousand Indian workers to replace Palestinians: Israeli government

by Muslim Mirror Staff

Israel plans to import a workforce of 10,000 individuals from India to fill positions in the construction and nursing sectors, indicating a growing level of economic and political collaboration between the two countries.

According to reports, the arrival of the workers will be organized in stages, with 2,500 individuals being employed in both the construction and nursing fields. The final details of the labor agreement are still being negotiated between officials from Israel and India.

“We expect the agreements to be approved shortly, and we will soon be able to start setting up the necessary mechanisms to employ skilled labour in a proper and supervised manner,” a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Population and Immigration said.

The negotiations follow the recent visit of Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to India in early May. During the visit, an agreement was signed between Minister Cohen and his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, which aimed to bring approximately 42,000 Indian foreign workers to Israel. Out of this total, 34,000 workers were designated for the construction industry, while 8,000 were intended for elder care positions.

Ahead of the negotiations, Israeli officials visited workplace training centers in India in March. The purpose of these visits was to assess and familiarize themselves with the training facilities. According to Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, the Indian workers were praised as diligent, experienced, and proficient in English.

Israel and India have indeed been strengthening their bilateral relations over the years. In January, the Adani Group from India acquired a 70 percent stake in the recently privatized Haifa Port in Israel, with a significant investment of $1.2 billion. This acquisition signifies the deepening economic ties between the two countries. Additionally, both Israel and India are part of US-led initiatives aimed at enhancing security and economic cooperation with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, further indicating the broader regional cooperation between these nations.

The United States has been advocating for a comprehensive infrastructure network that would link Gulf and Arab countries with India through rail and shipping routes. In pursuit of this plan, President Joe Biden’s senior national security advisor held discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as officials from India and the United Arab Emirates earlier this month.

However, the arrival of Indian workers to Israel would represent one of the more tangible manifestations of cooperation between Israel and New Delhi, directly impacting daily life in Israel. It demonstrates a practical aspect of the growing partnership between the two nations.

Approximately 100,000 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza are employed legally in Israel, with the majority working in the construction industry. Unfortunately, these workers frequently encounter unsafe working conditions and exploitation. It is notable that nearly half of the West Bank workers are compelled to pay brokers around 2,500 shekels ($746) per month in order to obtain work permits. This situation highlights some of the challenges faced by Palestinian workers seeking employment opportunities in Israel.

Palestinian citizens of Israel have indeed experienced discrimination for their political actions. During the widespread protests that occurred in 2021 across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, many workers were dismissed by Israeli employers simply for participating in a general strike.

Moreover, experts argue that Israel often utilizes the issuance of work permits as a means to exert influence and control over the Palestinian economy. This practice allows Israel to maintain a certain level of control over the employment opportunities available to Palestinians and can be seen as a tool for exerting influence and control in the region’s economic dynamics.

Indian authorities have cited Israel’s strategies as a reference for their management of Kashmir, where they have faced allegations of implementing a widespread displacement campaign to change the demographic composition of the disputed region, primarily affecting the Muslim population.

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