Even on May Day 2021, Palestinian workers at the checkpoint can only dream of an 8-hour workday
May Day, celebrated today, marks the international struggle of workers for labor rights and suitable employment conditions. We chose to mark this day by documenting Palestinian laborers arriving at Checkpoint 300 (Bethlehem) - one of 11 checkpoints through which Palestinians from the West Bank are allowed to enter Israel for work. The laborers have to get to the checkpoint as early as 3:00 A.M. in order to get to work on time, as crossing it is a lengthy process.
This is partly due to the fact that only five of the ten gates are usually functioning. This creates massive crowding, with mutual shoving and people fainting. On the night the footage was filmed, two workers blacked out due to these harsh conditions.
Israel sees granting its Palestinian subjects entry permits and allowing them to work in its territory as an act of charity. Yet this is just another expression of Israel’s apartheid regime, which does not treat Palestinians as human beings with equal rights but as a commodity to be exploited for cheap labor to serve its own needs.