An Israeli settler in the West Bank has no legal hurdle to working in Tel Aviv, but Mr. Alshawamreh needed a work permit to enter Israel as well as an employer willing to undergo the many bureaucratic contortions required to hire a Palestinian.
Experts reckon there are only a few dozen Palestinians among the 360,000 workers in the Israeli tech sector, in addition to a few hundred working remotely from the West Bank.
Then in 2018, a breakthrough: Mr. Alshawamreh won a three-month internship at an Israeli company building cancer-screening technology — and, with it, a work permit.
Full-time work proved elusive. So, with his permit still valid, he instead became a rare Palestinian student at Tel Aviv University. He pursued a third degree — a master’s in business administration, half of it funded by the college, and lived in Tel Aviv.
But without a job, Mr. Alshawamreh struggled to pay his share of the fees and was suspended halfway through. He emailed dozens of prominent Israelis and Palestinians, asking for help.