Asylum seekers in Israel are now barred from most jobs

Asylum seekers in Israel are now barred from most jobs
2 min read
01 July, 2022
The ban will affect asylum seekers in most major Israeli cities.
Asylum seekers in Israel have protested policies targeting them [Getty-file photo]

Asylum seekers in Israel will be barred from most jobs in major cities, according to reports, a move which has been slammed by NGOs in the country.

Israel's ministry of interior announced the ban on Thursday, as part of a shake-up of rules for asylum seekers.

Construction, agriculture, restaurant, hotel, and caregiving work are among the permitted jobs, which rights groups say are among the hardest and most poorly paid occupations in Israel.

Dr. Ayelet Oz, executive director of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, slammed the move by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked of the right to far-right Yamina Party.

"In the final months of her tenure, [she] chose to use the discretion the Supreme Court gave her to restrict asylum seekers' employment to the toughest, most poorly paid jobs in Israel’s labour market," Oz told Haaretz.

"After more than a decade of ongoing injustice toward asylum seekers by the state, Minister Shaked is adding insult to injury by limiting their dreams and aspirations and restricting them by law to being Israel's hewers of wood and drawers of water."

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Another NGO said the decision will force some refugees to engage in exploitative and undocumented work.

Minors, over-60s, and parents of minors in Israeli schools will be exempt from the ban but it will likely affect most asylum seekers in Israel.

Israel has been widely condemned for its asylum policy, including a plan to send refugees to Rwanda.

Although the scheme was scrapped, the idea has been picked up by other countries including the UK and Denmark.

The country has also seen outbreaks of violence against refugees.

Israel has detained asylum seekers who refused to leave the country and turning back others, who have fled war, sexual violence and extreme hunger.

Israel has been described as an apartheid state by leading NGOs and churches for its treatment of Palestinians.