Sawsan Zaher: In the Israeli economy, dirty, difficult, and dangerous jobs often are left to some 170,000 foreign workers, among them 55,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank. Numerous NGO reports and media exposes have documented the abuses faced by these workers. Yet the most vulnerable and exploited segment of Israel’s labor force now faces yet another barrier to justice: in August, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked issued a new regulation requiring most foreign workers to deposit a financial guarantee as a condition to proceed with lawsuits against their employers in the country’s labor courts. As a result, whatever rights these workers should enjoy by law will likely be too expensive to actually enforce.
A new regulation effectively shuts West Bank Palestinians out of Israeli labor courts. It also reveals how Israel uses laws and regulations to seize Palestinian land while denying Palestinians rights.