Palestinian workers abused in Israel, claims report to UN

Union says 93 workers were killed in 2022 and 31 since the beginning of this year

Palestinian workers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Reuters
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Palestinian officials have handed over a report to the International Labour Organisation on alleged abuse and exploitation of Palestinian workers in Israel.

The report said Israeli forces killed 93 Palestinian workers in 2022 and 31 since the beginning of this year.

It was submitted to an ILO fact-checking committee by Shaher Saad, secretary general of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, at a meeting on Monday.

"Palestinian workers are facing dangers while crossing military checkpoints and barriers into Israel," the report says.

It also claims brokers and illegal middlemen were deducting about $34 million a month in fees from workers’ salaries, which it said prevented the implementation of a working social security system in Palestine.

During the meeting, officials complained about the absence of occupational health and safety standards and illegal working hours.

Faced with few employment opportunities at home and constraints on movement and development, many Palestinians resort to working in Israeli settlements.

In 2021, about 37,000 Palestinian workers found employment in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, mostly in the construction sector, according to an ILO report.

As in previous years, interlocutors reported hazardous working conditions, frequent cases of payment below the minimum wage, incidents of sexual harassment of women and child labour, ILO said.

Updated: March 29, 2023, 6:58 AM