Dependence on Palestinian workers endangers construction, study finds

Keeping construction levels high is a crucial element in reeling in the soaring price of housing.

By
October 19, 2015 18:27
1 minute read.
palestinian laborers

Palestinian laborers work at a construction site in a settlement near Jerusalem . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israel’s dependence on Palestinian workers is a danger to the construction sector, according to a BdiCoface study released Monday.

Eleven percent of construction companies are at risk of closing, and crackdowns on the movement of Palestinian labor resulting from the security situation could push some of them over the edge, the study found.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Keeping construction levels high is a crucial element in reeling in the soaring price of housing, which in recent years has inflated as the result of both inadequate supply and low interest rates.

Of the 235,100 construction workers in Israel in the first quarter of the year, 22% came from the West Bank and 3% were foreign workers.

“The data that arises from the survey present a snapshot of uncertainty, not only among the contractors, but also reflected the general worries in the population in Israel,” said Avner Levy, chairman of the contractors and construction organization in Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Bat Yam.

“It’s difficult to predict how the wave of terrorism will affect it, given the dependence on Palestinian workers.”

Last month, the cabinet approved plans to increase the number of Chinese construction guest workers by 20,000.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The survey estimated that 67% of construction companies faced elevated economic risk, and 11% were near closure.

June saw a record level of home sales in Israel, reflecting two government policies, according to the survey.

Former finance minister Yair Lapid’s attempts to eliminate VAT on housing for some young couples in 2014 led potential buyers to wait.

When the plans fell apart, many rushed back to the market.

This summer, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced plans to increase tax on real estate purchases made for investment purposes.

Ahead of the new tax, many investors rushed to close their deals.

Combined, the factors led to a 63.2% increase in home sales in the first eight months of the year, relative to the same period last year.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Workers strike outside of the Teva building in Jerusalem, December 2017
December 18, 2017
Workers make explosive threats as massive Teva layoff strikes continue

By MAX SCHINDLER