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Laboring in the settlements

The situation of Palestinian workers in Israeli settlements

Jerusalem24 – A few weeks ago, a tragic car accident killed 9 Palestinian children in the northern Jordan valley. The children were on their way to work in the Fetsayel settlement in the area.

Settlements in the valley employ Palestinians in agricultural work, including picking dates and vegetables. Many humanitarian organizations who have been monitoring the situation state that the Palestinians do not have other real alternatives to support their families. forcing them to look for work in the settlements.

According to Omar Shakir, director of Human Rights Watch in Palestine, the way in which the Israeli government has exercised control over the West Bank through land grabs, restricted access to water and other resources, and restrictions on the entry of certain materials, makes it difficult for Palestinians to develop their economy.

This also affects Palestinian children, according to the representative of the International Labor Organization in the Palestinian Territories, Mounir Kleibo, about 120,000 students have abandoned their schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kleibo blames the attractiveness of the Israeli labor market. He describes it as a slave labor market with some settlements employing children aged nine, fourteen and sixteen years old. Many of these children earning little compared to the minimum wage in Israel.

However, the lure of settlement jobs comes with difficult working conditions, without guarantees of stability or even any form of health insurance.

Below is the entire interview with Mounir Kleibo, representative of the International Labor Organization in the Palestinian territories. 

Wake Up Palestine broadcasts everyday between Sunday and Thursday at 8:30 AM on Jerusalem24 106.1FM

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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