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Business News/ News / Gaza war: Why Israel seeks India's help to boost its construction sector
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Gaza war: Why Israel seeks India's help to boost its construction sector

More than 6,000 Indian workers will arrive in Israel during April and May to help the country's construction sector meet a labour shortage following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict

In December of last year, Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi discussed expediting the arrival of Indian workers to Israel during a telephone conversation.Premium
In December of last year, Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi discussed expediting the arrival of Indian workers to Israel during a telephone conversation.

Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, more than 6,000 Indian workers are set to arrive in Israel during April and May to alleviate the labour shortage in the construction sector, which emerged following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict

They will be transported to Israel via an "air shuttle" as part of a joint decision by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), finance ministry, and the construction and housing ministry to subsidize charter flights, according to a statement issued by the Israeli government on Wednesday.

"Thanks to the joint financing of the PMO, the finance ministry, and the construction and housing ministry, it was agreed approximately one week ago on the arrival of over 6,000 workers from India during April and May on an 'air shuttle' following the subsidising of charter flights," the statement said.

The statement was issued after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting at the PMO in response to a severe shortage of workers that has resulted in the delay of numerous projects. This shortage has raised concerns about the escalating cost of living and has led to tensions between different government entities and businesses.

According to PTI, the workers from India are being conveyed to Israel under a government-to-government (G2G) agreement between the two countries.

In December of last year, Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi discussed expediting the arrival of Indian workers to Israel during a telephone conversation.

In addition to workers from India and Sri Lanka, approximately 7,000 workers from China and around 6,000 from Eastern Europe have also arrived in Israel.

During his visit to India in April of the previous year, Israeli Minister of Economy Nir Barkat held discussions with officials and counterparts in Delhi regarding the recruitment of Indians across various sectors, particularly in construction. These discussions centered around the possibility of bringing in nearly 160,000 individuals.

Currently, there are approximately 18,000 Indians employed in Israel, with the majority working as caregivers. Many of them chose to remain in Israel during the conflict due to a sense of security and attractive salaries.

In May of the previous year, Israel and India signed an agreement during the visit of then-Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to Delhi, permitting 42,000 Indians to work in Israel in the construction and nursing fields. This move was aimed at addressing the rising cost of living and providing assistance to families in need of nursing care. According to a statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, 34,000 workers were designated for the construction sector, while the remaining 8,000 were allocated for nursing roles.

In the past six months, approximately 800 workers from India have also joined the agricultural sector in Israel.

-With agency inputs

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Published: 11 Apr 2024, 09:13 AM IST
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