Israeli elections will put 37 million shekels into Palestinian pockets

Palestinian workers will benefit from Israel’s second round of elections.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s 2019 elections part deux, which will take place on September 17, have been derided by  public and politicians alike as “excessive,” “unnecessary” and “expensive.” But at least one group will benefit – Palestinian workers – to the tune of 37 million shekels ($10,400,00).

According to Israeli law, election day is a a paid holiday with the employer footing the bill. Those that do come to work are paid double.

As a result, Palestinian Arab workers entering Israel on election day will enjoy an income reaching into the tens of millions, Israel Hayom reports.

The U.N. estimates that 127,000 Palestinians enter Israel for work. The majority of them aren’t Israeli citizens and don’t vote, the paper notes. Still they will be eligible for the doubled salary.

Israel Hayom calculates that as the average daily salary for a Palestinian worker is 291.55 shekels, it means a total of 37 million shekels for all the workers.

Given that Israel just held elections in April, more than 70 million shekels will have been paid to Palestinian workers all together, the paper reports.

The elections are also good for business in the Palestinian territories. One Ramallah shopping mall merchant told Israel Hayom: “Many Palestinians that work in Israel and were on holiday came with their families and children. From our side Israel should have elections every month.”

The direct cost of September’s election will be 800 million shekels ($220 million). However, there are also indirect costs which are harder to estimate. According to Israel Hayom, conservative estimates say the country loses 1.5 billion shekels ($410 million) in tax revenue.

That puts the cost of an election somewhere between 2.5-3 billion shekels ($680 million-$830 million).