The Israeli Government has approved the hiring of 2,000 construction workers from Romania and Bulgaria, basing its decision on the friendly relations that these countries have with Israel, an official communiqué quoted by Mediafax shows. “At the initiative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who considers that friendly countries should be treated preferentially, the government has decided to allow 2,000 Romanian and Bulgarian construction workers to come and work in Israel,” the communiqué continues. The text adds that although 1,000 Romanians and 1,000 Bulgarians will be used, the number of foreign workers in the construction sector will not grow, which implies that the contingents of legal immigrants from other countries will be lowered by the same amount. The communiqué was issued after a private television stated that Premier Netanyahu wanted to make a “gesture” towards Bulgaria and Romania in order to persuade them not to back the establishment of a Palestinian state at the UN in September. Netanyahu visited both countries last week.