Over 100,000 Palestinians work in Israel with around 20,000 working exclusively in Israeli settlements, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The results are part of a survey taken from July-September to document labor participation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. According to the survey, 103,000 Palestinians were employed in Israel between July-September 2013, with over 60 percent employed in the construction sector.
Of this number, 51,100 had an Israeli-issued permit, 34,600 worked without a permit, and 17,600 had an Israeli identity card or foreign passport. The overall labor force participation rate in the West Bank was 44.9 percent and 41.4 percent in the Gaza Strip. A large gap exists between male and female labor force participation, with an average of 69.5 percent of men working compared with 17.1 percent of females.
The unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip was 32.5 percent compared with 19.1 cent in the West Bank, with over 43 percent of the 20-24 age group unemployed, the highest overall rate for any demographic. In the occupied West Bank, Hebron had the overall highest unemployment rate at 22.3 percent, while in Gaza Khan Younis had the highest rate at 35.8 percent. An average of 4 percent of children aged 10-17 are employed, with 5.7 percent in the West Bank and 1.3 in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians employed in Israel face an arduous journey to work, often waiting hours at crowded military checkpoints. According to labor rights group Kav LaOved, Palestinian workers are often denied entry onto Israeli buses, and in November last year Israeli daily “Haaretz” reported that Israeli police were systematically removing Palestinians from public transport. The Israeli transport ministry announced plans to set up segregated bus lines for Israelis and Palestinians, with rights group B’Tselem labeling the move “blatant racism.”