Israel to shed Arab workers

Jerusalem (AP) - The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, said yesterday he planned to import enough foreign workers to free Israel of the need for Palestinian labour from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The plan is likely to anger Palestinians whose economy depends on the income of wage earners in Israel, and undermine peace talks on extending self-rule into the West Bank.

Mr Rabin told American Jewish fund-raisers that replacing Palestinians with foreign labour would improve security. "In four months I can bring in 20,000 to 25,000 workers...and there will be no need for Palestinians in the territories to come to Israel," About 65,000 labourers from abroad, mostly Thailand and Romania, now work in Israel.