The Israeli government is expected to approve the trade deal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently signed with China. However, it was revealed this morning that the deal includes a controversial clause that states that the recruited Chinese construction workers will not work in the West Bank.







Illustration

Illustration Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently signed a trade deal with the government of China that regulates the recruitment of Chinese workers for construction work in Israel. One of the clauses in the agreement implies that these workers will not work in settlements. The government is expected to approve the agreement today (Sunday).

The aforementioned clause does not explicitly mention the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and stresses the Chinese workers’ safety as the reason for the clause: “The two parties agree to take the necessary measures to ensure the prompt implementation of the recruitment process. The parties agree to take reasonable steps in order to jointly ensure the personal safety of the Chinese workers during their term of employment in Israel. In order to achieve this goal, it has been agreed that the recruited Chinese workers under this agreement will work in areas in Israel that have been approved and agreed upon by both the parties.”

The Israeli Justice Ministry and Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that there is no legal opposition to the agreement. Efrat Municipal Council head Oded Revivi criticized the deal, saying that the housing crisis in the Israeli communities in the West Bank is no different than the housing crisis in Tel Aviv.