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Settlement workers paid double average wage
Published Wednesday 20/04/2011 (updated) 25/04/2011 09:51
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A man prays the dawn prayer as workers wait to cross a checkpoint to work in
Israel at the separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, early on
August 24, 2010. [MaanImages/Luay Sababa]
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Just one percent more Palestinians worked in settlements in 2010 than the year before, making almost double the wage of their peers in the public and service sectors, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said in a new report released Wednesday.

PCBS research showed that 38.3 percent of the workforce was employed in the service sector, with 19.3 percent in commerce, hotels and restaurants, 14.2 percent in illegal West Bank settlements -- up from 13.9 percent in 2009 -- and 24 percent in the public sector.

Average daily wages for settlement workers were 150 shekels ($44) per day, compared to 76.9 ($22) in the West Bank and 46.2 ($13.50) in Gaza, the latest research showed.

The figures for settlement workers are likely to concern leaders of the Palestinian Authority, who have said they will outlaw all work in Israeli factories across the Green Line by 2012.

President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated Tuesday his intention to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state by September, after peace talks broke down over the issue of West Bank settlement growth.

On Wednesday, Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad said the international community should get ready for a Palestinian state , speaking at a conference of anti-settlement activists near Ramallah.

But settlement leader Yaakov David Ha'ivri called on the Palestinian leadership to admit that the settlements benefit workers, saying workers likely made even more than double the average wage.

"Palestinian workers in our factories are making closer to three times the wages they would be making in the PA. I guess that is the reason that Salam Fayyad's threats to impose a workers boycott never materialized.

"It would be very interesting to see the results of a true open and democratic referendum of the local Arab population" to learn if they would prefer the ban on settlements or continue working in them, he added.

Among other figures released by the PCBS, the unemployment rate in the Tulkarem governorate was the highest in the West Bank, at 22.3 percent, while in Gaza, Khan Younis had the highest at 44.7 percent.

Overall, unemployment in the Gaza Strip fell almost ten percent in 2010, down to 37.8 percent, and continues to fall in the West Bank, hitting 17.2 percent in 2010.

Levels of unemployment remain much higher for women participating in the labor market than men, the report showed, a trend even more marked for women in Gaza.

Overall labor participation declined from 2009, from 41.6 to 41.1 percent.

The lowest unemployment rate was in Tubas at 11.8 percent.
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1 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
21/04/2011 01:31
I hate to admit it but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' and the PA's goal of banning Palestinians from working in Israeli settlements is RIGHT. Yes, the Palestinians are earning more but they're doing so for the WRONG reasons. We, the Jewish People of Israel, should NOT be employing Palestinians, period. They need to support themselves by working at prosperous jobs among their OWN people, period, NOT for us. It's COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT what the political consequences are.

2 ) Salim / Canada
21/04/2011 06:05
Those Zionists are also guilty of the crime of paying decent wages to workers of of the crime of not discriminating against women. Mr. Goldstone should investigate these newly revealed socialist crimes and should seek sanctions to force the Zionists to pay lower wages so that the PA will not look so bad!

3 ) Ramallah is an isolated island / Palestine
21/04/2011 09:42
The PA can just approach the settlement employers to ask them to lower the salaries they pay Palestinian workers in order to prevent "brain drain" [and respect the 2012 deadline]. There is a precedent: this is what the PA has done with UNRWA [which was happy to comply], after all.

4 ) ANNETTE GILADI / ISRAEL
21/04/2011 10:11
THE ARAB HATRED OF JEWS IS VERY STRANGE-THEY COULD BENEFIT IMMEASURABLY IF THEY WOULD STOP PREACHING THIS HATRED IN THE SCHOOLS-UNTIL YOU ACCEPT THE JEWISH STATE OF ISRAEL I HAVE THE RIGHT TO QUESTION THE FOILLOWING-WHEN WAS PALESTINE FOUNDED? WHAT WERE ITS BORDERS AND WHAT WAS ITS CAPITAL-WHAT WERE ITS MAJOR CITIES-NAME ONE PALESTINIAN LEADER BEORE ARAFAT? WHY DID THE ARABS MISTAKENLY CALLED PALESTINIANS NEVER TRY TO BECOME INDEPENDENT UNTIL THEY SUFFERED THE DEFEAT AFTER THE 6-DAY WAR?

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/04/2011 10:42
' "It would be very interesting to see the results of a true open and democratic referendum of the local Arab population" to learn if they would prefer the ban on settlements or continue working in them, he added...' If there was any chance at all he would abide by the result, I'd say give him his vote.

6 ) Colin Wright / United States
22/04/2011 10:44
to Annette Giladi #4 'NAME ONE PALESTINIAN LEADER BEORE ARAFAT?' There's a pretty comprehensive list in the Old Testament.

7 ) Colin Wright / United States
22/04/2011 10:46
To Salm #2 'Those Zionists are also guilty of the crime of paying decent wages to workers of of the crime of not discriminating against women...' And the Nazis were big on worker outings and against smoking so I guess they were cool too.

8 ) Chimo / USA
26/04/2011 19:57
You know what Colin, you couldn't answer one question without making some type of cheap crack. Your little Nazi comparisons confirm what I suspected all along about you. Nothing you say or do will ever have any effect on Israel, or it's people. Your nothing.

9 ) Ish Kabibble / Delancey
27/04/2011 18:09
As far as can determine, nobody is forcing the Palestinian's to work in the settlements, they're free to leave at any time to work for lower wages at a place of their choice
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