Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel: Labour, Land and Occupation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel

Labour, Land and Occupation, 1st Edition

By Leila Farsakh


286 pages

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Leila Farsakh provides the first comprehensive analysis of the rise and fall of Palestinian labour flows to Israel. Highlighting the interdependence between Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land and the use of Palestinian labour, she shows how migration has been the result of evolving dynamics of Israeli occupation and the reality of Palestinian labour force growth. This study analyzes the pattern of Palestinian labour supply, the role of Israel’s territorial and economic policies in the Occupied Territories in releasing Palestinian labour from the land, and the nature of Israeli demand for Palestinian workers, especially in the construction sector where the majority of commuting labourers are concentrated. New light is shed on the growth of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are being built by Palestinian workers.

Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel is original in its analysis of the contrasting forces of separation and the integration between Israel and the Palestinian territories, showing that the changing patterns in labour flows reflect a process of redefinition of the 1967 borders. It will be of valuable interest to economists and development specialists as well as to scholars, policy makers and all those concerned with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


'Leila Farsakh provides a powerful contribution to our understanding of these issues…[She] has provided a valuable and thought-provoking contribution to the literature on the political economy of the WBGS. Her work moves far beyond a simple empirical analysis and is underpinned by a powerful methodological approach to understanding the factors shaping Palestinian economic development. It is richly deserving of a wide audience.' - Adam Hanieh, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol XXXVI No 1, Autumn 2006

'The intricate interlacing of the variety of labor force statistics along with an acute understanding of Israeli policy reveals a work that is cogent and compelling.' - Edward A. Sayre, Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, Volume 40 Number 2, December 2006

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Political Economy of Migration and Structural Change 2. The Political Economy of Labour and Development in the WBGS 3. State and Settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip 4. Labour Release and Transfer from the West Bank and Gaza Strip 5. The Absorption of Palestinian Labour into the Israeli Economy 6. Labour Flows and the Oslo Accords 7. The 'Bantustanisation' of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Conclusion

About the Author

Leila Farsakh is Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and a research affiliate at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her doctorate from the University of London and worked with the OCED in Paris and the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute in Ramallah. Her research focuses on migration issues, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the political economy of the Middle East.

About the Series

Routledge Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East continues to dominate in the news and current affairs coverage of the media both in global and regional contexts. Despite this growing and intensified interest in recent years, it is widely recognised that the region is largely underrepresented in a range of disciplines in the scholarly and academic domains. 

Routledge is proud to have launched this series since 2003 to widen in-depth analyses and understanding of the economic and political dynamics of this important region. The aim of the series is to publish both specialist and more general titles covering a wide range of issues relating to the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa region. It will feature the latest political economy studies of the Middle East defined to encompass countries from Morocco to Iran.

Submissions from prospective authors are welcomed, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor ([email protected]). The series will be open to single-authored books as well as edited volumes and textbooks.  All manuscripts will be subject to international standards of peer review.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Middle East / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies