Palestinian labor flows in Israel: Missed opportunities and possible ways forward

May 2011

To read the position paper click here

On May 12, 2011, Professor Zvi Eckstein, then deputy governor of the Bank of Israel, authored the report of a committee charged with looking into the issue of Palestinian labor in Israel. The committee, which Prof. Eckstein chaired, was appointed by the government and included representatives from relevant government ministries.  After a year and a half, the committee concluded that Palestinian labor in Israel benefits all parties. The direct benefits include Palestinian workers’ access to livelihood, the significant injection of income into the Palestinian economy and Israeli employers having access to relatively inexpensive labor. The committee found that employing Palestinians inside Israel carries residual benefits for Israel in terms of security and diplomacy and that it is preferable to employing migrant workers.

More than six months after the Eckstein Committee report was submitted, it remains on the prime minister’s desk and has yet to be published. It is not clear whether its conclusions have been reviewed or have led to any decisions. In this position paper, we expose information obtained through legal work carried out by Gisha in cooperation with Kav LaOved. The information illustrates the lack of coordination between various governmental agencies. We will demonstrate how this state of affairs minimizes the potential benefits of Palestinian labor, opens the door to corruption and undermines security.

To read the position paper click here