Not 2012 for Palestinian youth – more like last mid-century…
The eldest son in a family of ten children, he lives in the Palestinian village Al-Fayasil in the occupied Jordan Valley, and is forced to work in the nearby Israeli settlement Tomer to help support his siblings. “I work from 6 am to 1 pm,” he told IPS. “And I get 70 shekels (18 dollars) per day.”
Al-Fasayil residents say that over a dozen youth from the village, all under the age of 18, are currently working in Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley. It is estimated that between 500-1,000 minors travel from other villages and cities throughout the West Bank to work in the area.
Most child labourers in the Jordan Valley make between 50-70 NIS per day (13-18 dollars), and are employed to pick, wash and package fruits and vegetables grown in local Israeli agricultural settlements. They work long hours in difficult weather conditions throughout the winter and summer months, and receive no benefits or insurance against injuries.
“There are so few options in the Jordan Valley. Due to Israeli restrictions that are in place on economic and agricultural development, there’s nothing. Palestinians can either stay at home all day or work in a settlement and be able to provide for their families,” explained Christopher Whitman, advocacy coordinator at Ma’an Development Centre, a Palestinian development and empowerment organisation based in Ramallah.