Palestinian laborers work at a construction site in a settlement near Jerusalem .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The number of Palestinians working for Israelis on either side of the Green Line doubled in the last four years and now make up 2.2 percent of all workers in the country, according to the Bank of Israel’s upcoming 2014 annual report.
“The size of the Palestinian employment in the Israeli economy is expected to continue to grow in the foreseeable future,” the central bank said in an excerpt published on Tuesday.
The 92,000 Palestinians who work for Israelis make on average NIS 198 per day, while their peers in the Palestinian territories make just 45% of that, on average, or NIS 91 per day, according to the report.
The bank attributed the increase in the number of Palestinian workers to more work permits allotted by the government, as well as a jump in the number of Palestinians working without permits.
Some 64% of Palestinian workers in 2014 had permits, while another 36% did not, the report said.
“There is considerable demand in Israel for Palestinian workers, mainly in the construction industry,” so much so that the number of Palestinian workers increased despite the summer violence the West Bank and Gaza, the report said, noting that Palestinian workers continued to enter Israel even during Operation Protective Edge.
In the second half of 2014, the Defense Ministry increased the number of overnight- stay permits for Palestinians in Israel, from 10,000 to around 14,000, so they would be more available for work, the Bank of Israel said.
According to a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report published in February, there were 1.27 Palestinians in the work force in the West Bank and Gaza in the fourth quarter of 2014., while 105,200 were employed in Israel, including 20,200 in the settlements.