Due to the ongoing situation, Palestinian workers in the West Bank have been unable to access their workplaces for over a month, leaving them without salaries. In response, workers’ rights groups are advocating for a one-time payment from the workers’ pension fund, Amitim, to provide some financial relief.
The letter, addressed to Attorney Inbal Mashash, who oversees the employment of Palestinian workers in Israel in Matash (the Payment Division of the Population and Immigration Authority), has been drafted by Kav Laoved, MAAN Workers Association, and the Law Clinics for Workers Rights at Tel Aviv University. These organizations have requested to this one-time compensation, with the aim to address the financial strain on Palestinian workers, who have been barred from entering Israel for their jobs as a result of the current conflict. The proposal highlights the need for a solution to support these workers during this challenging period.
The joint letter outlines a crucial step that must be considered for the welfare and relief of approximately 100,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank. These workers have been unable to access their jobs in Israel since October 7th due to the closure of the West Bank and the sealing of entry checkpoints. While a few thousand workers in essential roles in the settlements and Atarot Industrial Zone have been allowed entry, the vast majority remain unable to work. With no existing compensation mechanism or unemployment benefits available, these workers are left without any source of income
The letter details the urgent need for an extraordinary measure to be taken in light of the current situation. The suggested solution is to provide a one-time payment from their pension fund, Amitim, to help mitigate the financial hardships faced due to this prolonged period of unemployment.
In addition to this issue, the letter also requested assurances that the temporary halt of employment and remittances to the workers’ savings will not affect their insurance sequence and will not detract from their accumulated rights.