Daily Israel Report

PA Boycott a Failure as More PA Arabs Work for Israelis

Months after the PA announced a boycott of many Israeli employers, the number of PA Arabs working for Israel is up, not down.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 1/4/2011, 9:58 PM / Last Update: 1/5/2011, 8:08 AM

Israel radio photo

The number of Palestinian Authority Arabs working for Israeli employers has risen, with 11 percent of PA workers now employed by Israelis, according to the PA Central Bureau of Statistics. In 2009, 10 percent of PA workers worked for Israelis.

The increase went hand-in-hand with a drop in PA unemployment, which fell from 25 percent to 24 percent.

The news follows a major PA campaign to boycott Israelis in Judea and Samaria; the campaign included a plan to force PA Arabs working for Jews in Judea and Samaria to quit their jobs.

Despite the campaign, Israelis in Judea and Samaria are among those responsible for the employment boost, and employ a total of over 10,000 PA workers. The Barkan Industrial area alone, located in the Samarian city of Ariel whose theater was boycotted by leftist actors, employs over 4000.

While the PA economy improved slightly in 2010, the PA is still far from financially independent. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has told international leaders that the PA faces a shortfall of one billion dollars for 2011. Fayyad recently announced plans for another  donor conference in April 2011.

He publicly blamed Israel for the PA's financial crisis, and failed to note that over 11 percent of PA workers are employed by Israel, due largely to deliberate efforts on Israel's part to boost the PA economy.