Israel’s treatment of Palestinian workers is inhumane during COVID-19 pandemic
RAMALLAH, March 24, 2020 (WAFA) –Treatment of Palestinian workers at their workplaces in Israel in light of the coronavirus pandemic is inhumane, today said Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Milhem.
He condemned what he described as “the racist and inhumane” behavior of the Israeli authorities and employers in dealing with the Palestinian workers.
Milhem was reacting to an incident yesterday in which Israeli forces literarily threw a Palestinian worker on the roadside near the Beit Sera military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank despite his difficult health conditions and without informing him that he had the coronavirus infection. The worker was later picked up by Palestinian health workers and transferred to a special center for corona patients in the West Bank.
(Update: That test later came back negative.)
Milhem called on the Palestinian workers not to accept work at infected workshops and factories in Israel and to demand decent humane treatment from their Israeli employers.
“If you have to work for a living, then let it be with dignity, and not in this demeaning way,” he said.
“We are doing everything we can to get our workers not to accept work in Israel under these difficult circumstances, and not to throw themselves into these incubators of this pandemic in order to guarantee their safety and the safety of their families and community,” he added.
The Palestinian government had said workers who want to work in Israel had until last Sunday to arrange for their stay inside Israel for one month and not to go back and forth between their workplaces and homes in the occupied West Bank in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic, which is spreading much faster in Israel than in the Palestinian territories.
It called on Israel to ensure humanitarian conditions for the around 50,000 Palestinian workers who have found themselves stuck in Israel for at least one month.