Tensions rise: Ongoing Israeli debate on expelling Palestinian workers

News Bulletin Reports
2023-12-10 | 09:19
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Tensions rise: Ongoing Israeli debate on expelling Palestinian workers
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Tensions rise: Ongoing Israeli debate on expelling Palestinian workers

It has not been two months since the acts of harassment and arrests carried out by Israeli security forces against tens of thousands of Palestinian workers who were in Israel after October 7.

The government's decision to immediately expel them to the West Bank and Gaza has not yet reached the two-month mark, and Israelis are currently divided among themselves.

The government and the agencies that made the decision to expel the workers now want to bring back at least one hundred and thirty thousand of them.

This has sparked strong opposition from many Israelis, especially among extreme right-wing parties.

Furthermore, this demand comes in the aftermath of the collapse of the construction and agriculture sectors and Tel Aviv's failure to attract foreign workers from China, India, and others as replacements for Palestinian workers.

The issue is being discussed in the government, the mini-security cabinet, and a council for social and economic affairs, with a decision expected to be issued by Tuesday.

Ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir, Bezalel Smotrich, and Nir Barkat opposed it, launching a widespread incitement campaign, arguing that the return of Palestinian workers poses a danger to the security of Israelis during and after the war, raising concerns about turning these workers into an easy target for far-right revenge.

Simultaneously, contractors in the construction and agriculture sectors facing bankruptcy due to the decision are calling for a reconsideration and importing foreign workers, regardless of the cost.

However, the security agencies, supported by the majority of ministers, see the entry of Palestinian workers as a necessary need.

They have undertaken to establish a plan to ensure their entry and return to the West Bank in an organized manner with imposed restrictions.

In contrast, Palestinian workers have expressed their desire to return and work due to the deterioration of their situation following the war.

Moreover, Palestinian sources indicated that the number of unemployed Palestinians has exceeded four hundred thousand, with more than three hundred and twenty thousand Palestinian families living below the poverty line.

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