Israeli Tech Firm Hires Gazan Programmers in Bid to Boost Cooperation
An Israeli high-tech company has hired four programmers from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and plans to employ at least six more by 2017.
According to Reuters, 10 percent of Mellanox Technologies’ workforce is already comprised of Arab programmers living in Israel and in territories administered by the Palestinian Authority, including Ramallah.
“From our experience in Ramallah, we think we have the potential to collaborate and make our neighbors successful,” CEO Eyal Waldman told Reuters.
Mellanox Technologies creates products that link computers, servers, and databases. It has a large need for programmers and wants to avoid outsourcing the work to a different time zone.
Many unemployed Arab software engineers reside in Gaza on Israel’s southwest Mediterranean shore. Israel evacuated all Jewish residents from Gaza in 2005 and the territory has been ruled by Hamas since 2007.
Mellanox worked with Ramallah software firm ASAL Technologies to facilitate the hiring process in Gaza, as Israelis are not permitted to enter. Mellanox said it was not aware of other Israeli tech company employing Gazans.
It remains to be seen how a travel ban between Gaza and Israel will affect the working relationship. Waldman said he believes audio and video conferencing will be sufficient.
“This will bring both peoples closer,” he said. “The more we interact, the more we strive for coexistence.”