Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel: Labour, Land and Occupation
Institute for Palestine Studies, in collaboration with Muwatin, The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy
Publication Year: 
Number of Pages: 
هجرة العمال الفلسطينيين إلى إسرائيل
اليد العاملة الفلسطينية
مشروع ألون
القدس الشرقية
مشروع دروبلس
انتفاضة الأقصى
كامب ديفيد
الخط الأخضر
الجدار الفاصل

Ever since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, Palestinian commuting labour migration has played a key role in binding the Palestinian economy to Israel. It absorbed over one-third of the employed workforce and shaped the nature of Palestinian economic development. However, since the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993, migrant flows have become erratic, leading to a fall in Palestinian per-capita income and predictions that the era of migration has come to an end.

This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of the rise and fall of Palestinian labour flows to Israel. It highlights the interdependence between Israel confiscation of Palestinian land and the use of Palestinian labour, showing how labour migration has been the result of the evolving dynamics of Israeli occupation and Palestinian labour force growth. This study analyses the pattern of Palestinian labour supply, the role of Israel territorial and economic policies in the Occupied Territories in releasing Palestinian labour from the land, and the nature of Israeli demand for Palestinian workers, especially in the construction sector, where the majority of commuting labourers are concentrated. The book is also original in its exploration of the way changing patterns in labour flows reflect a process of redefinition of the 1967 borders. The analysis of the contrasting forces of separation and integration between Israel and the Palestinian territories shows how the Gaza Strip is being separated from Israel while the West Bank continues to be incorporated into the Jewish state.

This book will be of interest to development specialists as well as to economists, scholars and policy makers concerned with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


Leila Farsakh is Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her doctorate from the University of London and has worked with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris and the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute in Ramallah.


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