Israel must take a bold decision to allow Palestinian workers to return to work

It is impossible to delay the decision any longer. Palestinian workers must be returned to work in Israel now. Israel's security forces are currently holding urgent discussions in an attempt to prevent escalation in the West Bank.

According to information from Israel’s leading news website YNet this morning (Monday, Feb. 5th), the discussion focuses on two questions: whether to allow 100,000 Palestinian workers with permits to work in Israel and whether to permit Muslim worshippers from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem during the coming Moslem holiday. The assessment of these security forces is that the month of Ramadan, starting on March 10 this year, may be more volatile than usual due to the Gaza conflict, making these questions critical.

More than 150,000 residents of the Palestinian Authority who worked in Israel in recent years have been jobless since the beginning of the war and are left without any source of income. It is clear that they are in extreme economic distress. Palestinian workers are not entitled to any unemployment benefits or living allowances from Israel or the Palestinian Authority and are left facing the abyss.

The Israeli economy also has no viable alternative to Palestinian workers. Importing foreign workers, as some cabinet ministers suggest is not realistic solution. Preventing the entry of Palestinian workers over time will exacerbate poverty in the Palestinian territories and lead to mounting security tensions. In addition, everyone understands that the massive import of migrant workers creates fertile ground for exploitation, corruption, and adversely affects the wage conditions of all workers in the economy. But no less important is Israel’s duty to ensure the well-being of Palestinian workers who have been part and parcel of the Israeli economy for over 50 years.

MAAN – Workers’ Association maintains close contact with thousands of Palestinian workers with valid work permits in Israel who demand to return to their workplaces. Their employers are also waiting for them as their businesses suffer from a labor shortage. Palestinian workers have no other source of income, and employers have no alternative to these workers.

On December 10 the Israeli government held a discussion on the issue of Palestinian workers. The National Security Council put a plan on the table for the gradual entry of 80,000 Palestinian workers. Although this proposition was based on the assessment of both the Army and the Secret Service (Shabak) it was rejected by right wing ministers and the Government postponed the discussion. It is now 2 months after, and both workers and employers are left in a limbo.

The time has come for the Government to make a bold decision and allow Palestinian workers to return to work for the benefit of all.

For more details see MAAN’s coverage of the topic


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The East Jerusalem Project

Significant Achievements of MAAN – Workers Association in Protecting Workers’ Rights

Since the outbreak of the war, MAAN – Workers Association has secured the labor rights, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, and support for work accidents for over 300 residents of East Jerusalem. This includes opening checkpoints and distributing food vouchers, translating to over 3 million NIS in benefits. Notably, over 40% of those who received assistance are women.

Palestinian Workers

The government’s decision to massively import overseas workers is social lawlessness, a disaster for both the economy and security. It must be revoked and Palestinians must be allowed to return to their jobs in Israel

Wednesday, May 15, the Israeli government approved a structural reform on employment of migrant workers where it allowed a ceiling of 330,000 overseas workers in the Israeli job market. MAAN sees this decision as a step that defies all economic logic, contradicts labor market planning, and opens the way to a dangerous expansion of human trafficking for labor purposes in Israel. In addition, the decision reflects complete disregard for the consequences of the continued halt in employment of Palestinians.

The East Jerusalem Project

Severe employment crisis in East Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan

On the eve of Ramadan, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are facing an economic and social crisis exacerbated by a 7.6 per cent increase in unemployment since the outbreak of the war. Despite the crisis, the government is severely undermining its own five-year plan for East Jerusalem. MAAN Workers Association (hence MAAN) calls on the mayor and the incoming city council to secure budgets to reduce socio-economic gaps in the city.

Palestinian Workers

MAAN and Kav Laoved write to Immigration and Population Authority and demand to reserve a place in the quota for Palestinian workers with a permit who resigned/fired during the “Iron Swords” war

The two workers’ rights groups wrote on Feb. 13 to Mr. Moshe Nakash the head of the Immigration and Population Authority and demanded that special measures will be taken to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian workers and also to enable Israeli employers to overcome the crisis and keep their experienced workers.


אנא כתבו את שמכם המלא, טלפון ותיאור קצר של נושא הפנייה, ונציג\ה של מען יחזרו אליכם בהקדם האפשרי.

رجاءً اكتبوا اسمكم الكامل، الهاتف، ووصف قصير حول موضوع توجهكم، ومندوب عن نقابة معًا سيعاود الاتصال بكم لاحقًا

As an organization committed to the rights of workers without distinction of religion, race, nationality, gender, or profession - democracy is our essence. We strongly oppose the authoritarian laws that the extreme government of Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett, and Smotrich is attempting to impose.

Without democracy, there are no workers' rights, just as a workers' organization cannot exist under dictatorship.

only a victory of the democratic camp will enable a discussion on the Palestinian issue and lead to an alternative solution to occupation and apartheid while ensuring human rights and citizenship for all, Israelis and Palestinians alike. As long as the apartheid regime persists, the democratic camp will not succeed in defeating Israeli extremists. Therefore, we work to involve the Arab and Palestinian society in the protest.

We invite you:

To march with us in protests and to build an alternative, democratic, Jewish-Arab professional union in Israel. Join our quiet WhatsApp group today, "Marching with us in protest."

To join MAAN and unite workers in your workplace. Read here how to join the organization.

To follow MAAN's work on social networks.

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