Ramallah: Thousands of young and single jobseekers in the West Bank are rushing to propose to women just to be able to work in Israel after the regime put in place new rules for Palestinian employment, officials say.
As an alleged security measure, Israel recently ruled that only married Palestinian men who have received security clearance from the occupation authorities can obtain a new set of permits to work inside the green line.
Thousands of Palestinians who had previously refrained from marriage due to lack of funds are now finding an incentive to tie the knot, a Palestinian official told Gulf News.
Regardless of his age, which used to be a tough condition that remained in place for years, the groom becomes a candidate for a work permit inside Israeli claimed territories as soon as he is married as part of the new plan.
On Sunday, the Israeli security cabinet approved a plan to grant work permits to 30,000 additional Palestinian workers from the West Bank. The plan that was proposed to the security cabinet by the Israeli Defence Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Palestinian Territories Major General Yoav Mordechai, is expected to boost economic growth in the West Bank and assist in curbing knife and vehicular attacks by Palestinians.
Senior Israeli security officials were quoted by the Israeli media as saying that the policy of preserving jobs for Palestinians in Israel has proved itself in the past as an effective means of restraining attacks. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the Israeli Army’s Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot strongly recommended increasing in the number of Palestinians allowed to work in Israel.
Those Palestinian workers will work in construction, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and services. Currently, 58,000 Palestinians possess Israeli work permits, though Israeli labour experts assess that more than 120,000 Palestinians from the West Bank are actually employed, both legally and illegally, by Israeli employers.
Palestinians serve as a cheap source of labour for Israel, but they often face restrictions when attacks against occupation forces rise. Palestinians say that Israel employs a form of collective punishment after attacks, placing blanket restrictions for Palestinian movement within the West Bank and into regime-claimed territory.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of radical “Jewish Home” party, has gone even further by expressing support for granting West Bankers more work permits suggesting to the security cabinet that the number of legal West Bank workers allowed in Israel be increased by 100,000 not only by 30,000.
A Palestinian official confirmed the plans. “We have officially been informed of the Israeli plan by the Israeli Histadrut (trade union),” said Shaher Sa’ad, the Secretary General of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, Workers and Labourers. He said the Palestinian Minister of Finance was also informed by the Israeli government.
“There is a large supply of Palestinian workers seeking employment with Israeli employers,” Sa’ad told Gulf News. “Israeli work permits will be snapped up within the coming couple of months as thousands of Palestinians are interested to work in Israel.”
He said the Palestinians are preparing themselves by marrying and changing their marital status to apply at the earliest. Palestinian candidates for work permits will first have to receive security clearance from the regime’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, which might take a month or so.
“We currently need at least 100,000 work permits inside Israel to meet the increasing Palestinian demand,” he said.
Sa’ad said Israelis believe that high unemployment among the Palestinian youth create a general feeling of fear, insecurity, despair, frustration, rage and anger and the youth express their anger and frustration against the occupation with attacks.
“When Palestinian youth are employed and receive high Israeli wages, they will be disinclined to attack Israelis,” he said.