50 years on, Israel keeps tight grip on Palestinian economy

In this March 9, 2017 photo, Palestinian laborer Fuad Maraita arrives at a checkpoint near the West Bank village of Nilin. Maraita has worked in Israel all his adult life, just like his father and his oldest son. For the past 50 years, tens of thousands of Palestinian laborers have been working in Israel -- one of the most visible signs of the Palestinians’ economic dependence. The lopsided relationship will loom large if President Donald Trump restarts talks on ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Israeli control has held back the Palestinian economy, making decent-paying jobs in the territories scarce. Stripped of choices, Palestinians work in Israel, where their average pay is the minimum wage- still more than double what they would earn at home. For Israel, they are a source of cheap labor, building homes, fixing cars and serving food.

More than 100,000 Palestinians now work in Israel, and 24,000 in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. At peak times, a third of the West Bank’s labor force worked in Israel, where the standard of living is 12.5 times higher than that of Palestinians back home – a gap that has widened since 1967.
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