20,000 foreign laborers to replace Palestinians, says Israeli gov’t official

“Our goal is to bring another 20,000 foreign workers to Israel in the next six weeks,” says Housing Ministry official.

By World Israel News Staff

The Director General of the Housing Ministry said that his office plans to bring some 20,000 foreign laborers as a replacement for Gazans and Palestinian Authority Arabs, who will no longer be granted permission to work in Israel.

Speaking at a real estate conference on Tuesday, Yehuda Morgenstern acknowledged that the sudden loss of Palestinian workers had a serious impact on the construction industry in Israel.

But, Morgenstern said, finding an alternative to Palestinian laborers is critical for Israel’s long term security.

“If we want workers here and now, we need the Palestinians,” he said. “If we want workers for the [long-term], we can wait for foreigners from other places.”

Morgenstern said that his office was working to ensure that foreign laborers can come to Israel as quickly as possible.

“When I look from an optimistic and realistic point of view, our goal is to bring another 20,000 foreign workers to Israel in the next six weeks. We are working day and night to make it happen and I think we will meet this requirement.”

In January, Economy Minister Nir Barkat stressed that Israel should stop depending on Palestinian laborers and instead provide job opportunities to workers from countries who maintain friendly relations with Jerusalem.

The government “should not bring in Palestinian workers to work in Israel. We are not the Palestinians’ employment organizers,” Barkat said during a speech in the Knesset.

“I believe that we need to bring workers from peaceful countries – from India, from Sri Lanka, from Europe, from Africa,” he continued.

Barkat emphasized that laborers should come “from countries with whom we have peaceful relations.” He said assurances that workers would “return to their countries” of origin is also “very important.”

He said that a return to the pre-October 7th system, in which laborers from both PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, is unfathomable.

Referencing the PA’s “pay-for-slay” initiative, which sees the murderers of Israelis receive monthly stipends, Barkat said that “a Palestinian who murders a Jew receives a million dollars while he sits in prison.”

With that in mind, “Israelis should not have to fear the Palestinian who wanders the streets and who was taught from a young age that he should murder Jews and that if he does murder a Jew he will receive a million dollars. This is unthinkable.”