China balking at sending workers to West Bank settlements — over safety concerns

Julie Wiener

(JTA) — China is insisting that its citizens not work on Jewish settlements in the West Bank, but the objections are not based on politics.

An unnamed Israeli official told the French news agency AFP that a deal to bring thousands of Chinese guest construction workers to Israel is “stumbling” over the issue of whether or not such workers could be employed in West Bank settlements.

“Beijing is demanding that we ensure there are no workers in this region,” the official said.

The Israel-China discussions, part of a bilateral labor accord, is part of a larger effort to build affordable housing, according to Haaretz, which noted that China is objecting to West Bank jobs out of safety concerns rather than political ones.