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Why Palestinians prefer to work for Israelis

Itamar Marcus  |
  • Income increased 95% for Palestinians employed by Israelis; only 30% for Palestinians employed by Palestinians

  • Income rise of Palestinians employed by Israelis more than double of  inflation

  • Income rise of Palestinians employed by Palestinians is only 2/3 of inflation

Continuing the trend that Palestinian Media Watch has reported in the past, Palestinian workers still benefit significantly by being employed within Israel and in the Jewish towns in the West Bank, according to a Palestinian professor of economics at An-Najah University. Economics Faculty Director Dr. Bakri Shtayyeh told PA TV that Palestinian income has risen over the last 15 years by only 2/3 of the price increases, causing a major drop in buying power for Palestinians. However for Palestinians employed in Israel and in the “settlements,” income has risen at more than twice the rate of price increases. This means the buying power for Palestinians employed by Israelis has more than doubled.

For more information, see PMW's Special Report showing why Palestinians say they prefer to work for Israelis.

The following is from the text of the interview:

An-Najah National University Economics Faculty Director Dr. Bakri Shtayyeh: “If we take the period between 2004 and 2019 – 15 years, the past 15 years – we see that the rate of prices has gone up for us in Palestine by 45%... Let’s talk now about the sectors. The sector of [Palestinian] workers in the private sector, the sector of laborers – their income went up by 30%, while the prices went up by 45%; therefore their buying power decreased. [As for] the sector of [Palestinian] workers in Israel and the settlements, their income went up by 95%, while the increase in prices was 45%. Therefore their buying power increased very greatly. The gap is clear, and the gap between the two sectors is widening. [As for] the layer of [Palestinian] public employees in the two sectors – civilian or military – their salaries went up by an average of 65%. In other words, more than the percent of the increase in prices.”

[Official PA TV, Supply and Demand, Aug. 4, 2020]