• Tel Aviv

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 6:21 AM
    Last Update : Friday, February 23, 2024 at 6:18 AM

Impasse Hits Israel’s Real Estate Sector Due to Gaza War

(AWP) - The construction and real estate sectors in Israel have been at a standstill since the war erupted in the Gaza Strip on October 7, due to the indefinite suspension of work licenses for Palestinians from the West Bank.

The measure has caused heavy losses for construction and real estate firms, in addition to aggravating unemployment on the Palestinian side.

Arez Tsamhouni, an Israeli construction contractor, said that everything in his business stopped at the outbreak of the war.

“We rely on the workers, particularly from the Palestinian territories. In agriculture, we are in a similarly bad situation due to the lack of workers. There has been some talk of getting workers from Thailand, Vietnam and India. This is not possible,” he said.

“The situation is bad. We hope this war will come to an end, so we can recover,” he added.

Assaf Adib, Chairman of the Israeli Maan Workers Association, which brings together Israeli and Palestinian workers, said the construction sector crisis could cause a delay in apartment handovers due to the absence of Palestinian workers, who constitute the backbone of the sector.

“This is causing a large imbalance in the Israeli economy. Housing loans comprise up to 40% of Israel’s capital market. In cases of impasse and imbalance in the construction sector, very negative outcomes occur, including an increase in the prices of apartments, and low supply,” indicated Adib.

He noted that there is no alternative to bringing back Palestinian workers.

“In my opinion, as far as the Israeli economy and security are concerned, as well as the human situation of the Palestinian workers, there must be a decision to bring them back to their jobs in Israel,” he said.

The Maan syndicate chief asserted that the decision to bring back Palestinian workers must be taken before the beginning of the month of Ramadan.

“It is not possible for the Israeli government to keep hesitating about this decision. This is necessary for reasons of maintaining stability in the West Bank, and also for the humanitarian conditions of the Palestinians. As I  mentioned before, it also has to do with the housing and construction sector crisis in Israel,” he said.