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Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15

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Israeli Supreme Court Regards Water Cut-offs for Citizens Who are Unable to Pay Water Bills as Illegal and Contradictory to Basic Law

 

 

 

 

 

The Israeli Supreme Court is to hold an unprecedented session on Monday, 10 February 2003, to study the petition submitted by Ashraf Seif, a lawyer from the Jerusalem Center for Social & Economic Rights (JCSER) against the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jihon Water Company, the Interior Minister, and the governments legal advisor.

 

The petition requests the Supreme Court declare that the water cut-off policy adopted by the Jerusalem Municipality and other municipalities against those who are unable to pay water bills is invalid and in contradiction of the basic law pertaining to an individuals freedom and dignity, and which ensures unconditional water consumption.

 

The petition includes two important claims:

First: Every municipality, including the Jerusalem Municipality, enacted a municipal law that authorizes the municipality to cut off water supplies to those who are unable to pay their debts. The purpose of this petition is to point out that this municipal law is illegal and contradictory to the water law, municipalities law, and basic law pertaining to the individuals freedom and dignity.

 

 

 

 

 

According to basic law, municipal law cannot authorize water cut-offs without a legal precedent. Rather, the municipal law should draw its authority from another basic law that allows water cut-off. In this case, neither the water law nor the municipalities law authorizes water cut-off in the event that a citizen fails to pay water debts.

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore, water cut-off by the municipality is illegal.

 

 

Second: The municipalities law authorizes the municipality to take legal procedures against anyone who fails to pay water bills on time.

 

 

 

 

These procedures are: administrative collection in accordance with the taxes law; and lodging a legal case against the defaulter, followed by executive procedures at the Bailiffs Office.

 

 

 

 

The petition affirms that since water cut-off is not among these procedures, water cut-off, therefore, is an illegal measure by the municipalities.