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Amid Gaza War: Over 6,000 Indian workers going to Israel to rebuild construction sector

Amid Gaza War: Over 6,000 Indian workers going to Israel to rebuild construction sector

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing ‘fight-to-finish’ conflict between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which has brought the real estate sector to a halt, nearly 6,000 Indian workers are going to urgently restart the construction projects stalled for over six months because of the ban on Palestinian workers’ entry.

The workers from India are being transported to Israel under a government-to-government (G2G) agreement between the two nations.

Israel on Wednesday announced that over 6,000 Indian workers are scheduled to land in the Jewish country in April and May to assist the nation’s construction industry in tackling a labor deficit triggered by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“It was agreed approximately one week ago on the arrival of over 6,000 workers from India during April and May, on an “air shuttle” following the subsidizing of the charter flights,” the Israeli statement said.

Because of the ongoing war, which started on October 7, 2023, after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel, killed nearly 1,200, and took hostage around 250 Israelis, Jerusalem banned the entry of thousands of Palestinian workers from Gaza. More than 33,000 people have since died in the war which rendered most of the Gaza Strip in ruins and many among the 2.3 million Gazan Palestinians homeless, destitute, and starving.

The majority of the 80,000-odd Palestinian workers, who worked in Israel, hailed from the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank, and another 17,000 came from the Gaza Strip. However, the outbreak of conflict in October led to the revocation of work permits for a vast majority of them, exacerbating the labor shortage in the country.

Earlier, the media reported that Israel is seeking around 100,000 Indian workers to bolster works in different sectors.

In addition to workers from India and Sri Lanka, approximately 7,000 have come from China and 6,000 from Eastern Europe, the media reported.

“This (6,000 workers from India) is the largest number of foreign workers arriving in Israel for the construction sector in a short time, the statement noted.

The government has conducted intensive staff work to facilitate a substantial increase in the influx of foreign workers into Israel. The aim is to lower the cost of living, streamline bureaucratic processes, reduce friction between the government and the business sector, enhance supervision and oversight of foreign workers’ employment, and safeguard their rights, it said.


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