The public company Mellanox Technologies — headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and Yokneam, Israel – reportedly has hired four programmers in Gaza and plans to add at least six more in the next six months.
According to Reuters, Mellanox’s employee force is already 10 percent Arab programmers living in Israel and in territories administered by the Palestinian Authority including its unofficial capital, Ramallah.
“From our experience in Ramallah, we think we have the potential to collaborate and make our neighbors successful,” Chief Executive Eyal Waldman told Reuters.
Mellanox Technologies supplies end-to-end Ethernet and InfiniBand intelligent interconnect solutions and services for servers, storage and hyper-converged infrastructure. 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.”