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News Brief: Al Mezan issues factsheet on Israel’s exploitation of the state of Gaza’s crippled economy and its denial of basic rights to thousands of workers

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22 February 2022 |Reference 05/2022

On 22 February 2022, Al Mezan Center to Human Rights issued a factsheet titled “Workers Without Rights”, which addresses Israel’s exploitation of the crumbling economy in Gaza and its denial of basic rights to thousands of workers.


According to the factsheet, Palestinians from Gaza working in Israel are subjected to right to work violations that undermine their labor rights, expose them to dangerous and degrading circumstances, and ultimately put their lives and livelihoods at risk. The sheet summarizes the forms of violations faced by Palestinian workers as follows:


  • Discrimination in wages and social rights, absence of governmental control, poor safety and security, Israel’s unprovoked cancellation of work permits, unpaid social benefits, such as convalescence, annual and sick leave, and other rights.
  • Opportunity to work only in limited sectors and deprivation from working in industrial facilities.
  • Denial of labor rights, such as late payment of wages and salaries below the minimum wage.
  • Palestinian workers from Gaza are also deprived of any kind of aid at the domestic level (including allocation for social affairs, insurance, benefit of Qatari or any other aid) from the moment they are registered as traders in view of receiving said work permits.


Israel, the Occupying Power, must adhere to its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law regarding the protection of workers, including the prohibition to create unemployment in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the Gaza Strip, and to ensure decent working conditions and equal rights in accordance with international and domestic standards.


By way of the fifteen-year closure and movement restrictions, the Israeli authorities have systematically undermined the humanitarian and economic conditions in the Strip to the point of its current, crippled status, that even now continues to see rising rates of poverty and unemployment. The lack of job opportunities in the Gaza Strip has prompted its residents to seek employment within the Green Line, despite being aware that they would be deprived of their basic labor rights.


Al Mezan calls on the international community to uphold its moral and legal obligations vis-à-vis the protected Palestinian people by exerting pressure on Israel to lift its closure of the Gaza Strip, to ensure the flow of production inputs, and to allow the free movement of people, exports and imports, without constrains, and to ensure the freedom to trade. Al Mezan also calls for accelerating the reconstruction process and rehabilitating public facilities and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.


To read the fact sheet (Arabic only) please click here.