The economy of Israel and Palestine had always been intertwined, making it difficult to disconnect them. Consequently, Israel’s employment sector had long relied on Palestinian workers. On the morning of October 7, approximately 12,000 Gazan workers who were in Israel found themselves thrust into a void of uncertainty and despair. Their world was shattered by the sudden collective unlawful revocation of their permits and the cruel clutches of detainment of over 4,000 of them for not reason other than being Palestinians which left them standing on the precipice of desperation, grappling with a reality none of us knew how to handle. In that darkest day, as the fabric of their lives unravelled and the pillars of their existence trembled, we, at Kav LaOved, bore witness to their anguish as we lacked the tools to deal with the situation due to it being announced as a security emergency, rendering courts or other legal avenues to protect them irrelevant. Therefore, as a team, and with the support of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), we resolved to document the plight of Gazan workers for the annals of history. 

Through our lenses of solidarity, we embarked on a journey to illuminate the shadows of the systematic injustice that veiled the lives of Gazan workers employed in Israel since over 70 years. This rapid study, born from the crucible of urgency, exposes the harrowing practices of exploitation, discrimination, and relentless struggle which Gazan workers endured in their search for livelihoods.

The report was crafted through a combination of literature review, interviews, and firsthand observations and legal cases handled by Kav La Oved. It navigates the maze of bureaucratic hurdles, shedding light on the systemic injustices perpetuated by Israel’s oppressive employment models, violation of rights, unlawful employers’ practices, lack of law enforcement and absence of protective measure. Our approach was guided by empathy and solidarity, seeking to amplify the voices of Gazan workers and provide a comprehensive understanding of their experience. Through this meticulous documentation, we aim to shed light on the systemic injustices faced by Gazan workers and advocate for their rights and dignity. With each word penned and each story told, we embrace the cause of accountability and justice for Gazan workers, exposing the structural inhumane oppression perpetuated by the Israeli occupation.

Full report can be read here.

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