(July 8, 2019 / Israel Hayom) According to Israeli law, election day is a sabbatical day, and as a result, most workers are able to take the day off at their employer’s expense. Those who choose to work are paid double, as is customary on Shabbat and holidays.
It seems that now, as a result of Israel holding two elections within a six-month period, Palestinian employed in Israel are set to reap tens of millions of shekels in direct and indirect income.
According to the United Nation’s International Labor Organization, some 127,000 Palestinians are employed in the Israeli labor market. Although a majority of these workers are ineligible to vote in Israel, they will nevertheless enjoy the sabbatical day afforded to employees by Israeli law.
The average Palestinian worker in the Israeli labor market earns NIS 291.55 ($81.52) a day. In total, Palestinian workers earn NIS 37 million ($10 million) every day. Assuming the election is a sabbatical day, then in addition to the April 9 election sabbatical Israeli business will have paid Palestinian workers an extra NIS 70 million ($19.5 million).
“Business was also good on the last election day in Israel,” a Palestinian merchant in a shopping mall in Ramallah told Israeli daily Israel Hayom. “Many Palestinians who work in Israel and had a vacation day came with their family and kids, and the stores were full. As far as we are concerned, Israel can hold elections every month,” he said.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.