A new Israeli labor regulation continues a trend of increasingly suspending rule of law for Palestinians in the West Bank, in this case leading to further segregation in access the courts. By Sawsan Zaher In the Israeli economy, dirty, difficult, and dangerous jobs often are left to some 170,000 foreign workers, among them 55,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank. Numerous NGO reports and media exposes have documented the abuses faced by these workers. Yet the most vulnerable and exploited segment of Israel’s labor force now faces yet another barrier to justice: in August, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked issued a new regulation requiring most foreign workers to deposit…Read More... | 2 Comments
A recent article in 'The Washington Post' praises efforts by the Israeli government to bring in cheap labor from Jordan as a sign of growing peace. The problem? It all comes at the expense of Palestinian workers. By Hagar Shezaf A Washington Post article published earlier this week praised a new pilot project between the governments of Jordan and Israel as a “little peace” in the Middle East. To support the argument, the article applauded the fact that room cleaners named Ahmad and dishwashers named Mohammad are being brought in from Jordan to work in Israel’s southern city of Eilat.…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Palestinian Authority has been doing all it can to put down a two-month long teachers strike in the West Bank. But this crisis won't end until we realize that respect for our teachers is part and parcel of our liberation. By Rula Salameh Several days ago, a teacher called me and described the great difficulties he is facing due to budget cuts in the Palestinian educational system. He has been teaching for 14 years, and it has been quite some time since he has experienced such neglect from the authorities. He says that he sits for hours and thinks…Read More...
Hundreds mark International Women's Day with a joint Israeli-Palestinian protest outside the 'tunnels checkpoint' in the West Bank. 'Our children pay the price of the conflict, and we want to protect them.' Photos and video by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Over 500 Israelis and Palestinians took part in march to mark International Women's Day and to call for an end to the occupation and violence last Friday. The march began at the Husan junction on Route 60 — the southern West Bank’s main north-south artery that connects Jerusalem, Beit Jala, the Gush Etzion settlements, and Hebron — and ended the…Read More... | 2 Comments
The management at a West Bank auto repair shop tried to paint Hatem Abu Ziadeh as a 'security threat' for organizing workers. After seven months of stalling, an Israeli court finally orders he be compensated and brought back to work. Jerusalem's Labor Court ordered a Palestinian union leader who had been dismissed from his job be returned to work on Wednesday, after he was fired for organizing workers at a West Bank automobile shop. [tmwinpost] The ruling by Labor Court President, Judge Eyal Avrahami, was handed down a year and a half Hatem Abu Ziadeh was fired from the Tzarfati…Read More... | 2 Comments
Hatem Abu Ziadeh spent almost 20 years working at an auto repair shop in a West Bank industrial zone. But once he began organizing workers for better conditions, he was fired for 'security-based reasons.' In many respects, this is a painfully simple and well-known story: a veteran factory worker decides to unionize his fellow workers in order to protect their rights. All of a sudden, after many years of work, the employer remembers that the veteran is actually a poor worker who must be fired immediately. Like in innumerable cases, the employer provides a variety of reasons for the dismissal.…Read More... | 1 Comment
National Labor Court rules that unlike their fellow Israeli workers, Palestinians in a no-man's land industrial zone will remain subject to the Jordanian labor laws of 1967. Israel's National Labor Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian workers from the Nitzanei Shalom Industrial Zone this past Sunday, ruling that they will continue to be subject to the Jordanian labor laws of 1967, rather than Israeli laws. The three appellants — Abdel Hamid Yahiye, Ahmed Shayib and Mujhad Harsha — sued their former employers in Tel Aviv's Regional Labor Court in 2010 after they were fired for demanding retroactive payment from their employer.…Read More...
The ugly Israeli is not the one who is filmed yelling at stewardesses or hotel receptionists. It is the one who lives in denial of an entire system that oppresses another people. The one who eats his ice cream as a Palestinian child is arrested right in front of him. By Mei-Tal Nadler A few weeks ago, just days before Israelis headed to the polls, an Arab teenager was arrested on Tel Aviv's famed Rothschild Boulevard at around 6 p.m. I have no idea who he is, what he did before he was arrested, where he came from or where…Read More... | 28 Comments
The number of work permits the Israeli army gives to Palestinian workers nearly tripled, a new Bank of Israel report reveals. Did all those people suddenly become less dangerous, or do the permits serve interests other than security? The normative framework for viewing Israel's permit regime is that it stems purely from the state's security needs — a tool that allows the state to differentiate between those Palestinians who threaten Israel's security, and those who do not. This notion remains largely unchallenged despite the fact that, time after time, its arbitrariness is made clear: during every Jewish holiday the permits…Read More... | 8 Comments
Palestinian public-sector workers receive only partial salaries as Israel punishes the Abbas administration for its ICC bid by withholding tax funds it collects on the PA's behalf. Text and photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org Palestinian public-sector workers finally received part of their monthly salaries from banks in West Bank cities and towns on Monday. The Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday that it would pay only 60 percent of January salaries, except workers who take salaries less than NIS 2,000 per month. In mid-January, workers had also received 60 percent of December salaries. When the remaining portion of the salaries will be paid…Read More... | 16 Comments
When Palestinian workers at the Tzarfati garage in the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim unionized, management made up criminal accusations against the Palestinian chairman of the workers’ committee, exploiting the hostile war-time environment at the time. Management brought in the army, the police, and sent him to military court — resulting in the revocation of his work permit. By Niv Hachlili / 'The Hottest Place in Hell' It’s seven o’clock on a Thursday evening and Hatem Abu Ziadeh sits behind the wheel of the taxi he drives to support his family. He’s been on the go since early morning,…Read More... | 1 Comment
When the Palestinian workers at a West Bank aluminum factory tried to unionize, the management responded with a resounding no. Nearly half of the 65 workers at the MS Aluminum Ltd. factory, located in the Israeli-run Mishor Adumim industrial zone in the West Bank, unionized last week after joining the Workers Advice Center (WAC-MAAN). According to Israeli law, at least one-third of all workers in the factory must join the union in order to be considered their representative organization. WAC-MAAN told the factory management last week that they had passed the necessary threshold - 31 workers - and are expecting to…Read More...
Thousands of Palestinian laborers refused to pass through a West Bank checkpoint in protest of overcrowding and bad treatment from Israeli guards. A day later, their demands were met at the privatized checkpoint, but many believe the improvements won’t last long. The Palestinian laborers passing through the “Sha’ar Ephraim” checkpoint in the early morning are a strange sight by any standard. Those passing through before dawn mostly look stressed, busy, tired and retreated into themselves. “The hour or two spent inside the checkpoint are more difficult than an entire work day,” one of the workers told me Monday morning. But…Read More... | 21 Comments
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