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Updated 9:12 AM EST, Tue, Jan 05, 2021

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China to Send 6,000 Construction Workers to Israel to Alleviate Housing Crisis

Israel-China Agreement

(Photo : Facebook) China will be sending at least 6,000 construction workers to Israel to aid the country's housing crisis.

Israel and China have signed a draft deal on Wednesday to send at least 6,000 Chinese construction workers in Israel within six months to alleviate the country's housing crisis, the Jerusalem Post reported.

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According to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the deal, which will provide a "boost" to solve Israel's housing dilemma, was negotiated over the last 18 months and will be formally inked at the end of February in Jerusalem. 

Goal of the Agreement 

The agreement is designed to ensure supervision of the entire process - from the time the workers depart from China until they leave Israel at the end of their term.

One of the main goals of the agreement is to eliminate brokerage fees and the possibility of human trafficking, the Finance Ministry noted.

Last September, the cabinet approved a plan to bring in 20,000 Chinese workers. However, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein opposed the move, raising concern that the workers might be exploited by middlemen since a formal agreement was not at hand.

Thus, the recent agreement is designed to solve that problem, and both sides will prepare the ground for the immediate implementation of the deal.

The Israeli delegation to China was headed by the Finance Ministry's housing chief and the Construction and Housing Ministry's director-general. They held talks with representatives of China's Ministry of Commerce.

Housing Crisis in Israel

Meanwhile, the high cost of living in Israel has become a major political issue since 2011, according to Jerusalem OnlineHousing costs in the country have been increasing steeply since 2008, based on the data from the Bank of Israel.

Over the last few years, Israel's housing market has suffered due to lack of manpower. The new deal plans to bring in new technology and skilled workforce to reduce construction time and house prices for the benefit of the public, according to Uri Ariel, Housing and Construction Minister.

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