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Ra'anana's industrial park attracts many international and local high tech companies.

For the first time ever, the Israeli government on Sunday approved permits for Palestinian Authority citizens to work in the high tech field in the Jewish State, according to a report by Hebrew-language journalist Amiel Yirachi at Kipa News.

There currently is a severe shortage of skilled workers particularly in high tech.

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In addition, the government approved an increase in the number permits for Palestinian Authority Arabs to work in the services and manufacturing industries.

To date, the state has approved PA entry permits mostly for work in construction, industry, agriculture and the services industries.

The move was led by the Ministry of Regional Cooperation and the Ministry of Economy and Industry in cooperation with the Ministries of Defense, Finance and Science.

According to the plan, a total of up to 500 work permits will be issued in the high tech industry: up to 200 new workers will be approved in 2022, up to 200 more workers in 2023, and up to another 100 workers in 2024. This, in addition to the existing quota of work permits for Palestinian Authority citizens to enter Israel for employment.

“A planned restriction will be set according to which the salary of a Palestinian in the high-tech sector will not be less than 150 percent of the average salary in Israel, in order to allow Israeli high-tech companies to directly employ Palestinian workers with advanced skills and ‘close to home’, i.e. as an alternative to outsourcing to other countries, mainly those in Eastern Europe. This will also protect Israeli workers who are employed in the sector,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

In addition, the quota for PA workers in the services and industrial sectors is to be increased to a maximum of 8,550 permits, plus an increase in the quota in the Atarot Industrial Zone to a maximum of 3,600 PA workers.

“Israelis and Palestinians live in a common geographical area, and we must strengthen cooperation and interaction between the citizens and the economies,” said Issawi Farage, Minister for Regional Cooperation.

“The absorption of hi-tech workers expresses this desire to connect in all fields. We hope the move will increase the return on higher education in the Palestinian Authority and strengthen the high tech industry there, as a significant growth engine for strengthening the Palestinian economy,” Farage said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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