Arab workersAn Israeli parliamentary committee approved a draft law that seeks to toughen penalties against employers who hire Palestinians with no work permits. The Knesset's Interior Committee approved the bill yesterday in preparation for voting on it in the Israeli parliament's second and third readings before it becomes law.

The committee said in a statement that the draft law sets a penalty of up to two years of imprisonment against employers who hire one illegal Palestinian worker, while those who hire several could face a four year jail sentence.

Fines of between $2,500 and $58,000 will also be issued against those who employ one employee without a work permit, and $5,000-$77,000 for those who employ several.

Those who frequently employ workers without permits are subject to fines of between $10,000 and $109,000.