Palestinians who receive work permits in Israel expressed concern over the growing number of African work-migrants and infiltrators, who they say are quickly taking their place in the workforce.
The issue of work permits in Israel is one many Palestinians take personally. As such, they are well aware of the growing debate within the Israeli society regarding the migrant problem.
"The Sudanese are a problem for us," Ahmed Shubaqi, from Ramallah, told Ynet. "They are willing to work for next-to-nothing and places that used to hire us are now hiring them, because it costs them less."
Unemployment rates in the West Bank are on the rise, but while there is work to be found in construction within the Palestinian Authority, the majority of Palestinian say the pay offered – about NIS 50 a day (roughly $13) – is simply too low. The result is a growing demand for work permits in Israel.
One Palestinian explained that hiring Palestinians is in both parties\’ interest: "Both sides prefer hiring Palestinians over infiltrators. We come in, do the work and go home. It\’s better that the money stays here – in Israel and the West Bank. Besides, the Palestinians do a better job."
According to official data 51,500 Palestinians received work permits in 2011, with 28,000 working in Israel and 23,500 working in the greater West Bank area.
So far, in 2012 54,600 Palestinian – or 16% of the Palestinian workforce – received work permits. A Palestinian day-laborer working in Israel makes over twice as much as his Palestinian counterpart.
It is estimated that illegal Palestinian aliens make up 4% of the Palestinian workforce.
The defense establishment sees granting Palestinians work permits in Israel as a mitigation meant to assist the Palestinian population – which coincides with Israel\’s interests.