Fayyad’s Work Ban May Boomerang

Fayyad may have gone one step too far by proposing that PA workers be banned from working in Yesha. Workers face layoffs by worried Israeli firms.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 9:23 AM

Construction in Judea and Samaria (file)
Construction in Judea and Samaria (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s proposed ban on Arabs working in Judea and Samaria may have been a political blunder as Arabs face dismissals from worried Israeli firms.

Fayyad has made splashy headlines the past several months by promoting a boycott of all Israeli products grown or made in Judea and Samaria even though a resultant cut in demand might force the companies to lay off workers.

Political opposition has delayed the passage of the proposed ban on working for Jews in Judea and Samaria, but Israeli firms already are not taking any chances and are looking for other sources of labor.

The Palestinian Federation of Trade Unions released a report Monday documenting actions by the Mishor Adumin and Ma’aleh Adumin Industrial Development Associations, which asked employers to report on how many Arab workers may have to replaced if the PA approves the prohibition. Both of the business groups are located between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

The Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency reported that the associations told factory managers that temporary work agencies can recruit migrant laborers.

More than 150 Mishor Adumim factories employ more than 1,000 Arabs from nearby cities. An estimated 22,000 Arabs from Judea and Samaria work for Jewish employers in the area, which the PA demands be handed over to become part of its proposed new Arab country.

The PA workers are afraid they will be out of jobs even if the prohibition does not go into effect.

“We are waiting to see if the order will come, but we have no choice in the matter. Our boss said he wouldn’t wait until we leave him, he’s bringing Chinese workers instead,” said the trade union report quoted by Ma'an.

If the PA makes it illegal for the workers to continue to be employed, they may also be left without compensation, which does not cover cases in which employees quit on their own volition.