Qatar to grant work permits to 20,000 Palestinians

Qatar to grant work permits to 20,000 Palestinians
Blog: For the first time in 20 years, Qatar will open its doors to thousands of Palestinian workers.
2 min read
01 Jul, 2015
Qatar's rapid development has required the talents of many foreign workers [Getty]
Qatar is to provide 20,000 new work permits to Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank, it has emerged.

The first group will consist of 200 Gazans to work in schools, colleges and universities after Ramadan, easing the pressure on Qatar's stretched education sector.

Munir Ghannam, the Palestinian ambassador to Qatar, told the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency the embassy had also requested that Qatar employs Palestinian refugees.

Despite Qatar not having the best of international reputations when it comes to foreign workers, the Palestinian Ministry of Labour agreed with its Qatari counterpart to create a shared database of resumes submitted by Palestinian applicants.

The information will be made available to Qatari employers, who can select the candidates they want and contact them directly.

Palestinian employees will be treated according to Qatari work laws and regulations, said the ambassador, adding that Qatari companies "prefer to contract employees directly without a need for brokers".

Foreign workers need to be sponsored by a Qatari business in order to secure permission to work in the tiny gas-rich state. The system, known as kefala, has been criticised for bonding workers to corporate owners and requiring employer's permission to be granted before workers may leave the country. 

The move to grant the permits is an important breakthrough both for Palestinians and Qatar; Palestinians have not been granted permission to work in the Gulf state for 20 years, while unemployment rates in Gaza and the West Bank have been steadily on the rise.