Palestinians prefer working in Israel

Palestinian workers favor the Israeli market due to higher salaries and benefits.


Many Palestinian Authority (PA) Arabs prefer to work in Israel rather than in the PA, hoping to improve their income and living standards, the PA’s official daily reported.

They do so because of the higher salaries in Israel, the more orderly conditions, and the benefits. Moreover, being paid in the PA after the job has been done also proves difficult at times, the report said.

Musa Suleiman, 49, from the town of Dir Balut, a construction worker, told the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida earlier this month that three years ago, he decided to leave to work in the Israeli market.

“The low salary here among us [PA] and the high [salary] in Israel caused me to leave to work there, with the hope that I will be able to improve my income… The salary here is low, and collecting it is liable to last months or years after the work has been completed, following foot-dragging and splitting into payments,”‘ he told the newspaper.

“Many workers work in the market of the occupation state (Israel) [parentheses in source]. Also, the work hours are limited, the rights are clear, and there are payments to which we are eligible,” he added.

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Acting Director of the General Administration to Regulate Work Outside of the PA areas in the PA Ministry of Labor Abd Al-Karim Merdawi stressed the different rights workers enjoy in Israel as additional reasons for workers to change job location.

“The central factor that is making the Israeli job market attractive for Palestinian workers is the high salary in the Israeli market, which causes workers here among us to stream to work in the Israeli market,” he told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

“The social insurance, rights, and savings deposits that a ‘regularized’ Palestinian worker, in other words, one who has an [Israeli work] license, receives also constitute an attractive factor,” he said.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the average salary of Palestinian workers in the construction sector in Israel is more than double the salary they are paid in the PA.

According to the PCBS, in 2021 the average monthly salary of workers in the construction sector in the PA was NIS 3,193, as opposed to NIS 7,627 for a worker in the construction sector in the Israeli market.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which translated this report, noted that it has documented similar statements about why Palestinians prefer to work for Israeli employers.