Monday, May 11, 2020

  • Monday, May 11, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week I gave a high level overview of what Israel agreed to do to protect returning Palestinian workers while keeping them healthy and COVID-19 free.

I found a much more detailed list of the obligations given to Israeli employers of Palestinians by Israeli legislation:

On May 4, 2020, the government approved a legislative amendment that requires the employers of Palestinian construction, agriculture and industrial workers, needed to stay continuously in Israel due to the Corona crisis, to insure them in Israeli health insurance. The amendment ensures that Palestinian workers can receive health care in Israel when needed.

According to the emergency regulations, Palestinians who come to work in Israel are required to stay in Israel for three consecutive weeks, without the possibility of returning to their home. Legislative regulations were also determined for health and lodging conditions in a way that will allow the return of thousands of the required workers to the construction sector in Israel. At the end of March, the Knesset's Welfare and Labor Committee demanded that the matter be regulated, and the Kav LaOved, Association for Civil Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights organizations petitioned the High Court demanding that it will be implemented.

The living conditions currently defined in the regulations forbid to lodge more than six workers in a room and stipulate that you must provide each worker with personal space of at least 4 square meters, a bed, bedding, and blankets. The accommodations must be ventilated, separated from the workplace in a way that protects workers from physical hazards and accidents. Also, they must include a sink and stove for every nine workers, kitchenware in the necessary amount, and a refrigerator – except in cases where the employer is the one providing the workers' meals. In the building, you must provide a room or place designated for eating with a separate seat for each worker. Furthermore, employers are required to provide lighting, electricity, bathroom, showers with hot water sufficient for the number of workers, washing machines, a supply of drinking water and sewerage, and to take care of clearing sanitation hazards.

The regulations also specify that during the Corona period, government employees who are inspectors on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Construction and Housing will be authorized to assist in the supervision and to enforce the regulations. These are additional inspectors to the existing inspectors of the Ministry of Labor and Administration of Population that is already authorized to supervise and implement the fulfillment of the obligations to an employer of a foreign worker by law.

"The issue of regulating the Palestinian workers' conditions was coordinated with us, and I am glad that the contractors accepted most of the State's requirements to allow the entry of migrant workers. It was requested that workers who come to work in Israel receive at least medical insurance," Chairman of the Construction and Wood Workers Union-Histadrut, Itzik Moyal, said to Davar. "We are in contact with the Palestinian workers who arrive and provide them with protective gear – masks and gloves. Together with the joint safety headquarters, we also go to check the workers' residence and make sure it meets the standards set by the Ministry of Health. In this period, it is most important to us that the workers feel that they have an address. Every problem that will exist, we will do everything we can to help them."
The pro-worker NGOs got what they asked for. Israel's still powerful Histradut is ensuring adherence. The Palestinian workers agreed to these conditions and some of them like health insurance, they demanded.

It is critical to minimize worker travel because they are more likely to get the coronavirus in Israel than at home, and if they commute they can easily infect many others before knowing they have the virus.

All of this is to help tens of thousands of Palestinian workers get back to work as safely and securely as humanly possible.

So, of course, anti-Israel idiots are spinning this as Israeli oppression:

The only alternative is for these 67,000 workers to remain unemployed. There is no safe way to allow them to move back and forth every day. And the workers agreed to this!

In short, even when Israel does the most socialist, liberal, lifesaving work humanly possible, Israel haters will say it is terrible.

And look who retweeted this absurdity:

Sari Bashi, formerly of Human Rights Watch, doesn't like the joint Israel-Palestinian plan to protect workers either.

Once again, we see that people who pretend to love Palestinians actually only hate Israel - so much so that they would prefer that Palestinians contract infect their communities with a potentially fatal virus, just so they can self-righteously say that Israel is "exploiting" them.

They are all hypocrites.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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