The construction sector in Israel has been suffering from a severe labor shortage for 5 months due to the ban on Palestinian workers (Reuters)

With the entry of more than 100,000 Palestinian construction workers banned, Israel is making great efforts to attract foreign workers, with a major focus on Indian labor.

The Israeli newspaper Globes said that last week, about 50 construction workers from India arrived in Israel, at the forefront of the first wave of a plan to bring in at least 65,000 workers.

However, challenges such as regulatory hurdles and slow progress in recruitment pose major challenges according to the newspaper.

The construction sector in Israel has been suffering from a severe labor shortage for more than 4 months since the ban on Palestinian workers was imposed.

In response, the government began recruitment efforts to bring in foreign workers, targeting workers from countries such as India, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan.

According to government officials, the plan includes increasing the number of foreign construction workers in Israel by 45,000, with an additional 20,000 workers being recruited directly through recruitment agencies.

The plan aims to bring these numbers within the next two or three months.

Israel plans to increase foreign construction workers by 45,000 workers, while hiring another 20,000 through employment agencies (Al Jazeera)

According to the newspaper specialized in economics:

Although another batch of 1,000 workers recently arrived from India as an experiment, there are concerns about the feasibility of bringing tens of thousands within the proposed timetable.

Recruitment is reported to be slow in Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan, making India the main source of manpower currently required.

The Ministry of Construction and Housing provided an update in mid-February, revealing that 10,000 workers from the three targeted countries had been organized so far.

The Ministry's Director General, Yehuda Morgenstern, expressed the goal of arranging 20,000 additional workers by the end of next March.

However, challenges remain as foreign construction workers can only be imported through officially approved recruitment agencies.

Palestinian workers go to their workplaces inside via the Taiba checkpoint in the city of Tulkarm between the West Bank and Israel (Al Jazeera)

Before the outbreak of war on October 7, about 50 companies of this type were operating in Israel, but the high demand led to an influx of 150 companies applying for a license.

Although the deadline for applications is the end of December, about 10 applications have been approved, a process that usually takes about two years under normal circumstances.

The construction sector, one of the most important sectors of the Israeli economy, faces complex challenges to address the dilemma of labor shortages after the ban on Palestinian workers.

A week ago, the Israeli newspaper "Jerusalem Post" quoted 12 members of the Knesset (Parliament) as saying that the freezing of economic sectors in Israel as a result of preventing Palestinian workers from entering the Green Line for work costs 3.1 billion shekels per day ($820 million), based on data from the Ministry of Finance. .

Source: Israeli press