The Impact of Palestinian Employment in Israel on Violence Level

(with Asaf Zussman and Noam Zussman).

Employment of Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (hereinafter: “the occupied territories”) in Israel began a short time after the Six Day War, and has seen rises and dips as per Israeli security-political considerations and economic needs, as well as those of the Palestinians, whose national income was and is dependent in no small measure on remittances from working in Israel.

Backers of Palestinian employment in Israel claim that improving the welfare of the residents of the territories owing among others to employment in Israel, will lead to a lessening of the desire on the part of the Palestinian population to be involved in violence and other hostile acts, as well as contributing to achieving calm in Israel. Indeed, up until now, this claim has not been examined empirically. The purpose of the proposed study is to examine empirically whether there is a relationship between Palestinian labor in Israel and the degree of involvement of the Palestinian population in violence.

An answer to the research question will aid decision-makers in Israel in gauging in an informed manner to what degree policy on the scope of Palestinian employment in Israel contributes to a reduction in violence, and whether it ultimately serves Israel’s security interests, compared to other alternatives at its disposal.

In a broader sense, in the context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and other conflicts around the world, the study will contribute to improved understanding of the relationship between economic welfare of populations and the latters' involvement in violence. This matter is of great importance because one of the accepted means on the part of Western countries to achieving quiet in low-intensity military conflicts (such as the US in Iraq and Afghanistan) is broad investment in improving economic conditions and physical infrastructure in combat zones.