Jerusalem, Nov 9 (PTI) Israel "urgently" needs hundreds of thousands of workers to continue with construction projects and the contractors have made a strong plea to the government to bring in labourers from abroad, including from India, to meet their needs.
"We urgently need more workers. In any case, the government is the one who will decide where the missing workers will come from", a spokesman of the Israeli Contractors Association told PTI.
Informed sources told PTI that the bulk of this gap could be fulfilled by bringing in workers from India.
"Israel's Minister of Economy, Nir Barkat, during his trip to India in April this year had spoken to officials and his counterpart in New Delhi about hiring Indians in various sectors, including in the construction sector", a source here said.
"The discussions revolved around bringing in almost like 160,000 people", the source said.
The Israeli construction industry employs foreign workers in specific fields where there is a lack of Israeli workers.
The largest group of about 80,000 workers in the construction industry come from the Palestinian Authority. Another group of about 7,000 come from China and some 6,000 from Eastern Europe.
The ongoing war with Hamas militants in Gaza has also created a shortage of workers.
There are about 20,000 Indians working in Israel, mostly as caregivers. Most of them decided to stay back in Israel and did not leave the country during the war because "they felt quite secure" and "also because the salaries are quite attractive". PTI HM GRS AKJ GRS GRS