Israel Approves Permits for Palestinian Workers for Tech Sector

(Bloomberg) —

The Israeli cabinet approved for the first time on Sunday the issuing of a limited number of permits for Palestinians to work in the technology sector in Israel.

Until now, the government had mainly signed off on construction, agriculture, industry and services workers.

Israel’s technology sector has been suffering from a shortage of trained workers in recent years. The program will allow company to employ Palestinian workers with advanced skills as an alternative to outsourcing to other countries, such as those in Eastern Europe. 

Permits for as many as 200 workers will be issued in 2022, with an additional 200 in 2023, and 100 more in 2024. According to the plan, the salary of a Palestinian in the technology sector will not be less than 150% of the average salary in Israel. 

The initiative “opens gates not only to low-salaried workers in services and industry but also to white-collar workers in a leading sector that has been suffering from a severe personnel shortage,” said Esawi Frej, Israel’s Minister of Regional Cooperation. “We hope that the initiative will increase the return on higher education in the Palestinian Authority and strengthen the high-tech sector there.”

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