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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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Annual Narrative Report (2001)

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About JCSER


Introduction

The overview of violations of social and economic rights in East Jerusalem and the activities of the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) in 2001 must be seen with the context of the continuing Second Intifada, the Palestinian Uprising that began on September 29, 2000. This year was marked by an escalation of violence and an increase in human rights violations. From 29 September 2000 until the end of 2001 904 Palestinian people have been killed, of whom 23 were from Jerusalem. Another 16,989 have been injured. 743 of the injured were from Jerusalem according to data provided by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. Israel tightened its control over the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem.
As East Jerusalem has been illegally annexed by Israel, violations differ in a number of ways from the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Human rights violations in Jerusalem are more hidden and therefore often occur unnoticed. However, JCSER observes systematic and persistent violations of social and economic rights. Palestinian institutions were closed, policies of closure and house demolition increased despite statements of the UN Committee Against Torture that these policies may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The policy of land confiscation and settlement construction continued in 2001. No significant changes took place in the structural problems Palestinians face in their dealing with the Interior Minister and National Insurance Institute. The situation only worsened because of strict Israeli security measures, which disadvantage Palestinian Jerusalemites.
We hoped that human rights, equality, freedom, dignity, and peace would have prevailed in 2001. We hoped that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would have come to an end. Ten years have passed since the Madrid Conference, which was the basis for the agreements based on the principles of Land for Peace. However, today peace seems further away than ever. This escalating violence is the context in which the Center is operating today and in which the activities and achievements of JCSER must be viewed and assessed.
Our third annual report aims to provide an overview and samples of human rights violations in East Jerusalem and the activities and achievements of the Center during the year. With this report, which looks back over the year that has passed, JCSER expresses its deep concern about human rights violations in East Jerusalem perpetrated on a daily basis and calls on Israel and the international community to take their responsibility to stop these violations and to respect human rights for everybody so that the year 2002 will bring more tolerance, freedom and equality for all.


Director General JCSER

Summary of JCSERs activities in 2001

This report aims to provide an overview of JCSERs activities and outcomes during the year 2001 in relation to the overall goal of the Center, namely to protect and promote the social and economic rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Legal assistance
To defend the existing individual and collective social and economic rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem against further erosion and to ensure that these rights are not violated through arbitrary action by the Israeli authorities.

In 2001, JCSERs activity focus remained on providing legal assistance to Palestinian Jerusalemites. The Center worked on a total of 502 cases during the year: 14 prisoners cases; 143 cases on residency rights concerning the Interior Ministry; 222 cases concerning social security involving the NII; 87 Arnona Municipal tax cases; 16 cases involving building without permit and home demolition; and 20 miscellaneous cases. Furthermore, the Center provided consultations in 199 cases.

Legal advocacy
To challenge and reduce institutional discrimination against the Palestinian community in Jerusalem and to expand their rights available within Israels legislative environment.

This year, JCSER worked on six petitions: (i) the Arnona petition against the Jerusalem Municipality; (ii) the petition on water against the Jerusalem Municipality; (iii) a petition against the National Insurance Institute concerning the use of the Hebrew language only during investigations; (iv) a petition against the services of the office of the Interior Ministry in East Jerusalem; (v) a petition against the Interior Ministry concerning its new procedures on family reunification; (vi) it also started working on the preparations of a petition against the Israeli Defense Ministry concerning the checkpoints in and around Jerusalem.

Research and Public Relations
To collect and provide data about social and economic rights violations and to promote awareness.

Research was conducted on several issues to support the Centers legal advocacy activities. Besides its annual report 2000, JCSER researched and published a report Occupied East Jerusalem, A new Soweto? Do Israeli policies and practices in Jerusalem contain elements of the Crime of Apartheid? in preparation for the World Conference Against Racism in South Africa, held in August/September 2001. Furthermore, the Center launched its website in English and Arabic during the last quarter of 2001. The website had about 1000 hits during the last two months of the year. It includes, amongst others, information on news issues and developments in Jerusalem relevant for the work of the Center, its activities, reports, fact sheets, and press releases. The Unit also started to develop its own mailing list. The aims of this list and the website is to raise awareness on social and economic rights violations specified within the context of Occupied East Jerusalem. The Center issued 40 press releases on human rights violations in East Jerusalem. Especially local newspapers quoted JCSER regularly.

To a limited extend the Center started to work on international lobby and advocacy. Two of its lawyers testified before the UN Special Committee for the Investigation of Human Rights Violations Against the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which was held in Cairo between 25-29 July 2001. Three staff members participated in the Youth Summit and NGO Forum of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa during the end of August, beginning of September 2001. Furthermore, on 19 November 2001, JCSER sent a letter to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union countries to focus attention on the problems that Palestinians face because of the closure and checkpoints in and around Jerusalem and to ask the EU countries to take effective measures during the Israel - EU Association meeting. Another letter were sent to on 30 November 2001 to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. The aim of the letter is to focus attention on the Israeli violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention in East Jerusalem, to urge the High Contracting Parties to fulfill their obligation under Article one, and to oblige Israel to respect the Convention. The Center also signed several joined statements and appeals with other Palestinian NGOs. Finally, JCSER applied for membership of the Palestinian NGO Network.

Internal developments
Internal developments were aimed at starting to implement the recommendations of the assessment analysis concerning the organizational structure of the Center. JCSER started operating according to four units: (i) the legal unit; (ii) the research unit; (iii) the public relations unit; and (iv) the administrative unit. The Center also started to work on a new strategic plan for the coming years based on the organizational developments and strategic decisions. This plan will be finalized and implemented during the coming year. Efforts were undertaken to develop and implement a monitoring system of JCSERs cases and issues its working on to be able to analyze and assess these. Some staff changes took place during the year and two members were added to JCSERs board, which consists now of seven people. JCSER committed itself to develop and strengthen itself as a professional human rights organization and aims to continue this process that it has started during the coming years.

Context description
Legal context

Israeli law
Israel unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem in June 1967. It extended Israeli law, jurisdiction, and administration to this part of the city. Under Israeli law, the legal status of East Jerusalem is different from that of the rest of the territories occupied in 1967. As Israeli residents, Palestinian Jerusalemites enjoy certain benefits denied to Palestinians from the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They are not subjected to the same restrictions on movement as imposed on other Palestinians, who are, for example denied entry into Israel and East Jerusalem. They are also entitled to health insurance and other social welfare benefits as all other Israeli citizens. The difference between residents and citizens is that residents have no Israeli passport, but remained to have their Jordanian one from pre 1967. In principle, they have to same status as foreigners living and or working temporarily in Israel. The rights of Palestinian Jerusalemites are violated in several ways and they are subjected to discriminatory laws and policies intended to reduce the Palestinian population in Jerusalem.
The Palestinians in Jerusalem experience the complex Israeli legal system increasingly as an instrument of oppression. Examples are cases of land confiscation, house demolition, arrests and compensation for injuries. In respect of cases submitted to the Israeli courts, these courts are inclined to interpret and apply the relevant laws narrowly in the advantage of the Israeli State.
International law
According to international law, East Jerusalem is occupied territory, which means the Fourth Geneva Convention is applicable. This means that, according to article 47 of this Convention, residents are to be afforded the rights of the Convention regardless of the changes imposed by the occupying power, this includes annexation of the territory. On December 5, 2001, the High Contracting Parties reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
Israels annexation, its attempts to change the legal status of the city and its current policies and practices violate not only the Fourth Geneva Convention, but also International Covenants on Human Rights like the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right and the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination. These policies and practices have led to general international condemnation.
The UN General Assembly has repeatedly recognized the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people, as mentioned in international human rights instruments. This year, several countries recognized this right for the Palestinian people to self-determination. For example, both US Secretary of State Collin Powel and British Prime Minister Tony Blair called for a Palestinian state at the end of the year 2001. However, the reality on the ground remains one of occupation.
Political context

Ever since 1948, Israels objectives in Jerusalem have been to establish irreversible and exclusive control over the city. Since 1967, a framework has been created to integrate East Jerusalem into Israel and to separate it from the other Occupied Palestinian Territories. Policies have been implemented to ensure Israels domination, and to prevent possible re-partition of the city by ensuring territorial integrity and a Jewish demographic majority. In practice, this led to a range of measures designed to undermine and reduce Palestinian presence in Jerusalem. These discriminatory policies and practices are interrelated and strengthen each other.

The Palestinian population in Jerusalem consisted of 210,000 people according to official Israeli sources. This is 32 percent of the total Jerusalem population, which consists of a total of 660,000 citizens. Palestinian figures are much higher. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics estimates that 238,561 Palestinians lived in Jerusalem in 2001. These numbers differ as many Palestinian Jerusalemites with a Jerusalem ID card reside outside the city boundaries, while on the other hand Palestinians without a Jerusalem ID card reside inside the city. However, despite the fact that there are no exact numbers, it can be concluded that the Palestinian population in Jerusalem keeps growing faster than the Jewish population. The main reason mentioned by official Israeli sources is the increase in family reunifications in East Jerusalem. However, it is also a fact that the natural increase of Palestinians is relatively higher compared to the Jewish one. This increase forms a threat to the Jewish demographic majority. As can be seen further in this report, Israeli authorities continue to practice several strategies to limit this growth.
Palestinian residents in Jerusalem have the right to vote in municipal elections, but not in national Israeli elections. However, the core of Palestinian political strategy in Jerusalem has always been to refrain from doing anything that acknowledges the legitimacy of Israeli rule or recognition of Israels sovereignty over the city. Since 1967, therefore, most of the Palestinian residents of the city have consequently boycotted Israeli municipal elections. Other unwritten rules have been to refuse to become Israeli citizens; to refuse to accept compensation for expropriated land; to refrain from using the Israeli legal system as an avenue of resource; to refuse to surrender control over education and curriculum to the Israeli Municipality; and to avoid any formal dealings with the Municipality. The result is that Palestinians have no say at all in what goes on within the Municipality.
Today, it appears that Palestinians in Jerusalem may be more ready than in the past to integrate where unavoidable into Israeli society (i.e. social benefits) and make some changes in their political strategies for surviving on a day-to-day basis in the city. These shifts appear to be purely pragmatic and can be characterized as one of seeking ways to take the initiative to proactively demand equal rights and treatment to improve conditions of daily life without necessarily conferring political legitimacy on what remains an unacceptable political reality for most Palestinian Jerusalemites.
However, there is no shared opinion on this. Some think they inadvertently promote the goal of securing Israeli sovereignty when pushing to improve the quality of life. Although no legislative measures exist according to Israeli law to prevent Palestinians from participating in local political life, doing so would contradict the fact that East Jerusalem is illegal annexed territory. Palestinian residents in Jerusalem were allowed to vote and to be elected in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 1996, Palestinians who chose to become Israeli citizens were not.
Israel decided a long time ago to prevent the establishment of new political institutions in East Jerusalem and to restrict the activity of the existing ones. The Orient House was one of the very few and most prominent Palestinian institutions that existed in Jerusalem until August this year. On 9 August 2001, Israeli security forces closed the Orient house and eight other Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem. Israel said that it suspected these institutions to have relations with the Palestinian Authority. At this moment, there is no official Palestinian institution operating in Jerusalem anymore.
Social and Economic Rights Violations

The right to liberty

Although the right to liberty is not a social and economic right, some information will be given as JCSER took some arrest and detention cases in 2001 because of the situation and the many arrests that took place since the start of the Second Intifada.

The number of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons, detention and interrogation centers in 2001, was approximately 2650. At least 143 were Palestinians from Jerusalem.

A minimum of 350 children have been arrested, of whom approximately 66 were from Jerusalem. Many were arrested during demonstrations for throwing stones.

Torture and other ill treatment are still widely practiced in Israeli jails. Many Palestinian detainees, including minors, are exposed to one extent or another to methods of torture and other ill-treatment that include sleep deprivation, shackling to a chair in painful positions, beating, slapping and kicking, threats, curses and insults, position abuse, violent shaking, suffocation, and other violent and degrading methods during interrogations and detention.


Jerusalem 29 November 2001 General Security Services admit use of torture
JCSERs lawyer, who is defending the case of MTAM from Jerusalem, received an assessment report from the head of the Jerusalem Investigators Team of the General Security Services in which he admitted the use of torture methods during the investigation.
In the letter was written that the following investigation methods have been used against MTAM on 27 & 28 August 2001 after his arrest on 26 August: Slapping his face five times; twisting his back twice for half an hour each time. After obtaining information, the investigators stopped using corporal methods.
This report must be read in relation to MTAMs own testimony. He told JCSERs lawyer that he was beaten by the investigators of which as a result his tooth was broken. The investigators put him in a painful posture. His back was leaned backwards on the chair. One sat behind him and one in front of him. They shook his body. One pressed his chest until his back curved down. He felt on the ground and was beaten by the investigator who was standing behind him. His hands were shackled. This process was repeated for two consecutive days. His body was shivering and he felt severe pains all over his body. During investigation, his legs and feet were tied up with the chair. He spent long hours in the investigation room in the same posture without objective investigation. Sometimes, he was left alone in the room. He spent ten consecutive days. He admitted and signed a statement to save his life. Then he was taken to a clinic for medical treatment. He was given some medicines and glucose. As a result of the painful posture, he suffered from severe pains all over his body. He told the court about the illegal investigation methods used by the investigators against him. He lodged a complained concerning this.
Although the degree differs, both sides admit the use of torture. In September 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court decided that the use of certain interrogation methods by the Israeli Security Agency involving the use of moderate physical pressure was illegal as it violated constitutional protection of the individuals right to dignity. It not only violates Israeli law, but also the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Israel ratified in 1991.

JCSERs activities
JCSER took the legal defense of 14 Palestinian prisoners in 2001. The following cases are two examples of these.


The arrest of a child: The case of AH
JCSER legally defends AH, 15 years old, a Palestinian Jerusalemite. He was arrested for throwing stones in October 2001 and suffers from asthma since his imprisonment. Since his arrest, he has spent about 40 days in isolation. Afterwards, he was transferred to a child prison. The conditions in prison worsened his health condition enormously.
Since the start of the Second Intifada, more than 100 Palestinian children under the age of eighteen from Jerusalem have been arrested. Many of them were arrested during demonstrations for throwing stones. These minors are jailed for an average of four to six months and held in custody at least until his or her trial finishes. Furthermore, children have been placed in cells with those who have been detained for criminal offences. Child detainees have been subjected to different kinds of torture like beating, scalding with hot water, etc.
ID card confiscation by the Israeli police: The case of MK
MK is a Palestinian Jerusalemite and a resident of Al-Issawiyya neighborhood. In 1999, he was arrested. His ID card was kept with the Israeli police at the Russian Compound in West Jerusalem after he was released. On 17 April 2001, he approached the Center for legal help. The Center sent a memo to the Israeli police at the Russian Compound, requesting the restoration of MKs ID card. Two days later, on 19 April, the Israeli police replied that the client could receive his ID card from the Russian Compound.


The right to residence

Israel regulates the issuing of residence permits to Palestinians in Jerusalem with reference to the Entry into Israel Law. This law authorizes the Israeli Ministry of the Interior to administer the law. The Ministry of the Interior is therefore responsible for residency policies. The residency rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem are restricted and violated in several ways as the Interior Ministry applies a number of discriminatory methods to control the number of Palestinians who legally reside in the city. These measures can be seen within Israels overall policy in East Jerusalem, namely to preserve the demographic balance and to strengthen Israels sovereignty over the city. Furthermore, the bulk of Interior Ministrys policy in East Jerusalem is conducted on the basis of unwritten criteria and unclear procedures

In 1995, the Interior Ministry introduced the center of life policy. Palestinians with a Jerusalem ID card were required to prove continuous residency in Jerusalem by submitting documents to demonstrate that they actually resided in the city for the previous years. The burden of having to prove the individuals center of life in Jerusalem is placed on the Palestinian. The requirements to prove the center of life are so detailed that even persons who never left the city have difficulties meeting them. The requirements related to this are characterized by ambiguity and vagueness. The ones who cannot meet the requirements to proof ones center of life can have their residency status revoked by the confiscation of his or her ID card, is refused family unification, and cannot register his or her children in the population registry. Because of this policy there are many unregistered children and spouses living illegally in Jerusalem.
Despite local and international protests, the center of life policy continues. Palestinian Jerusalemites still have to proof continues residency in Jerusalem. The Interior Ministry and the National Insurance Institute still demand numerous documents from Palestinian citizens to prove ones center of life in all their applications. Although the Israeli authorities announced at the end of 1999 to stop confiscating ID cards, occasionally these are still being confiscated at border crossings.

An example of ID card and related problems: the case of Ms. LT
Mrs. LT is a Palestinian Jerusalemite and a resident of Ath-Thori neighborhood. The family lives in Jerusalem and pays the Arnona municipal tax, the national insurance fees and other taxes. In December 1999, the National Insurance Institute discontinued the familys health insurance. The Interior Ministry informed her that her ID card has not been valid since 1967. It requested her to provide all documents, such as Arnona, water, electricity and telephone bills, school and work certificates for previous years. She submitted these documents, but to no avail.
She approached JCSER on 20 January 2001 for legal aid. The Center sent several memos to the Interior Ministry. It was able to restore Ms. LTs ID card and the ID cards of her children. The family is now entitled to national and health insurances.
The case of Ms. NL
Mrs. NL, a Palestinian Jerusalemite, is married and a mother of seven children. In 1985, she got married to her husband, a resident of Hebron. The couple has been living in Shufat refugee camp since 1994. Mrs. NL approached the Center on 27 January 1999 after the Interior Ministry confiscated her Jerusalem ID card and refused to register her children, and after the NII discontinued the familys health insurances. The Center sent memos to the Interior Ministry, requesting it to restore the clients ID card, to register her children, and to approve the family reunification, as she provided all necessary documents and papers.
JCSER threatened that it will resort to the Supreme Court. However, the Ministry restored the clients ID card and registered her children on 7 August 2001, before the case reached the court.
The NII refused to disburse the familys entitlements of child benefits and to reinstate the familys health insurance unless the Interior Ministry approved the clients residency. The Center resorted to the labor court, which after several sessions, approved to reinstate the familys health insurance and to disburse child benefits retroactively.
The Center continues to follow-up on the case concerning the application for family reunification.
The strict policy of family reunification remained in place in 2001. Jerusalem residents married to persons who are not Israeli residents or citizens must apply for family unification in order to live legally together in the city. The application is being verified with center of life, security and criminal record. It can take years before the applicant receives a decision to his or her application. When the applicant receives approval, a process starts, which will take five years. Every year both the applicant as well as the one for whom the applicant applies have to show all the requested documents and the application is checked on the above three issues.

An example of rejecting an application because of center of life: The case of Mr. JS
Petitioner Mr. JS applied for family reunification as his wife has a West Bank ID card. The Interior Ministry refused his application because of security reasons. Mid 1999, he came to JCSERs office for legal assistance. JCSER wrote a letter to the Attorney General. An answer was received explaining that because of criminal charges against him, namely charges for theft at work for an amount of US$150, the petitioner might be imprisoned. This means that there would be no common life with his wife and no center of life in Jerusalem. Therefore, the Interior Ministry could not approve the application. JCSER went to court in June 2001. The first response was the approval of the application.
An example of remaining difficulties after approval: the case of Ms. LA
Petitioner LA is a Palestinian Jerusalemite and married in 1993. Her husband has a West Bank ID card. They applied for family reunification in 1994. Their application was approved in 1996. In 1997, he received a temporary ID card according to the Interior Ministrys policy. However, every time there is a six or seven-month period in between the expiring date of one card and the receiving of a new card. In this period her husband has no valid ID card and therefore no rights. In October 2001, JCSER filed a petition against the Interior Ministry concerning this case and is waiting for a response.

Since the start of the Intifada, an increase is being noticed in applications rejected due to security reasons, in particular in cases in which the husband is from the West Bank or Gaza Strip. These reasons do not need to be specified as it concerns secret state security information, even when the case is taken to the courts. There is a strong feeling that this reason is used more and more to limit the number of family reunifications.

Rejecting application because of security reasons: the case of Ms. FJ.
Ms. FJ is a Palestinian Jerusalemite and a resident of Shufat refugee camp. In 1998, she got married to Mr. SO, a resident of a West Bank town. They lived together in Shufat refugee camp. She applied for family reunification for her husband. The Interior Ministry turned down the family reunification application for security reasons. On 22 June 2000, the couple had their firstborn baby, but the NII refused to disburse child benefits and delivery allowance for the mother, claiming that she lives outside the municipal borders of Jerusalem.
Ms. FJ approached the Center on 30 August 2000 for legal assistance. The Center sent a letter to the NII, requesting it to disburse child benefits for the client. It replied that the file was under discussion. Another memo was sent. A memo was also sent to the Interior Ministry, requesting its approval of the family reunification application.
After reaching a standstill with the Interior Ministry, the Center submitted a case to the Supreme Court in August 2001. The Ministry was given 45 days to reply to the case. At the hearing in November it was explained that the application was rejected because of security reasons.
Ms. FJs husband was convicted for throwing stones, working for the Palestinian security forces, and arrested for security reasons not to be published according to instructions of security apparatuses and the Defense Ministry.
The case of Mr. JT
Petitioner Mr. JT is a Palestinian Jerusalemite, married to a woman with a West Bank ID card. In 1994. In 1995, he applied for family reunification for his wife. This application was rejected in 1996 because of security reasons. In 2000, he asked for legal assistance from JCSER. It was found that the security reasons to refuse his application were charges against him for illegal hunting. In July 2001, JCSER filed a petition to the Israeli Court. In a first response they agreed to issue the family reunification permit.

As is the case with family reunification, also the policy of child registration remained as strict in 2001. To register a child born to parents of whom only one is a resident of East Jerusalem and to receive an identity number, the parents must submit a request to register a birth and submit to this request proof that the center of life is in Jerusalem. It is estimated that there are currently at least 10,000 children residing in East Jerusalem who are not registered.
Without a Jerusalem ID number, Palestinian children are denied some basic rights. A child must have his/her birth registered in order to be recognized by the state. By denying or restricting registration, the state can effectively disclaim their rights to any benefit or service, including access to and provision of education, health care and others.
ID card confiscation, refusal to issue family unification permits or register children lead to severe problems for the individuals or families involved. They are illegal in the city and have no residency rights. This means that they are not insured, have no right to health care or other social benefits, can not get a work permit or register at a governmental school. Furthermore, they run the risk of getting arrested when being checked by the police in the city or at checkpoints, as they have no permit to reside in the city.
JCSER suspects that there is an increase in cases reported, where applicants to the Interior Ministry are approached by the GSS (General Security Service) to collaborate in exchange for a return of ones ID card or family reunification approval. JCSER expresses its deep concern about these developments.

An example: the case of Mr. S.
Petitioner Mr. S. married with his wife from the West Bank in 1991 and applied for family reunification in 1994. He was asked to come to the GSS for questioning, as a security check is part of the family reunification application procedure. It was proposed that he would get a family reunification permit if he would collaborate with the GSS by providing information. He refused and his application was rejected in 1997 because of security reasons. In September 2001, JCSER filed a petition against the Interior Ministry in order to obtain approval to issue a family reunification permit and to register their children. The Ministry agreed to register their children, but they have to apply again and start the procedure for family reunification all over again.

Palestinian Jerusalemites have for long complained about the inhuman conditions to which they are exposed by the office of the Interior Ministry in East Jerusalem, which differs considerably from the one in West Jerusalem. At the office in the eastern part of the city, which is for Jerusalems residents, there are long waiting lines, hardly any services, accumulated, longstanding files waiting to be processed, and numerous requests to prove ones center of life. The conditions contradict existing Israeli laws and strongly contravene with the internationally acknowledged standards pertaining to the respect of economic and social rights and the principles of equality and impartiality.
Palestinian residents are exposed to mistreatment and arbitrary procedures as executed by the staff of the Interior Ministrys office in East Jerusalem. They are repeatedly and exaggeratedly asked to report in comparison with the requests made by staff to Israelis in West Jerusalem. Israeli citizens receive certain services through mail, which is not the case for Palestinian residents. When requested to appear in the offices, Israelis are never requested to show any documents to prove their citizenship. Palestinians, on the contrary, are requested to provide innumerable documents to prove their center of life in the city. Misleading or absent information has often been related to granting public services.
As a result, Palestinians have often lacked information on required fees, the type of documents they should enclose with their application or the working hours, which are in the morning in contrast to the West Jerusalem office, which remains open in the afternoon. Furthermore, Hebrew is the only language used most of the time, although Arabic is the second official language in Israel. Many Palestinians do not understand Hebrew, which makes the communication with the Ministry a frustrating process. They have to use application documents without being able to understand the contents.
Despite legal pressure, promises and intentions to improve services in the Interior Ministrys office in East Jerusalem, until today in practice nothing has changed.
JCSERs activities
Legal assistance
JCSER assisted 143 people with their applications to the Interior Ministry. Most of these cases dealt with family reunification. The following cases presented are samples of identity card, family reunification and child registration cases adopted and defended legally by the Center.


Two exampes of ID card, family reunification and child registration cases adopted by JCSER

Ms. SS
Ms. SS married in 1994 and has two children. As her husband is from the West Bank, she applied for family reunification. Although they submitted all necessary documents and papers to prove the familys place of residence in Jerusalem, the Interior Ministry turned down the application claiming that they live outside the municipal borders of Jerusalem.

On 12 December 1999, she approached the Center for legal help. The Center studied the case and sent a memo to the Interior Ministry dated 4 January 2000 stressing the need to approve the application. Three more memos were sent dated 23/2/2000, 28/5/2000 & 9/6/2000, but the Ministry kept asking for more documents. On 18 June 2000, the Center sent another memo to the Interior Ministry, demanding it to register Samars children. On 7 October 2000, the Center sent another memo threatening the Ministry to resort to the Supreme Court if no reply is received in 30 days time. Eventually, the Center sent a letter to the Israeli attorney general explaining the Ministrys unjustified delay of the approval of the application. On 14 February 2001, the Center obtained a preventive order from the Supreme Court, preventing the expulsion of the family from Jerusalem.

Eventually, the Interior Ministry approved to issue a one-year permit for Ms. SSs husband after which he will obtain a Jerusalem ID card. It also approved to register the two children.

Mr. SS
Mr. SS is a Palestinian Jerusalemite born in 1958 in the neighborhood of Shufat. In 1978, he traveled to Saudi Arabia and used to visit the county once every six months. In 1981, he married Ms. RH, a Palestinian woman who fled to Jordan during the War of 1967. They had seven children. In 1991, he applied for family reunification for his wife. As the application was approved while they were abroad, the wife was not able to receive the ID card.

In 1995, the family returned to Jerusalem. Mr. SS applied again for family reunification. The Ministry extended the wifes residency permit for eighteen consecutive months and asked the couple to go to the Ministrys office twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. During the last visit in 1997, the Ministry confiscated Subhis ID card and gave him an order to leave the country with his family. The familys health insurance was also discontinued.

On 12 March 2000, Mr. SS approached the Center for legal assistance. The Center sent several memos to the Interior Ministry demanding it to restore Mr. SSs ID card, to approve the application, and to register their children. The Center resorted to the Israeli Supreme Court, which in turn issued a decision dated 31 July 2001, requesting the Ministry to restore Mr. SSs ID card. It also requested the client to apply another time for family reunification for his wife. The Supreme Court forced the Ministry to issue a decision within 60 days.

On 20 November 2001, the Center obtained the Ministrys official approval to register their children. Mr. SS was requested to pay the amount of 535 NIS service fees for each of them.


Legal advocacy
In the year 2000, JCSER in cooperation with CRCs (Citizens Rights Center) submitted a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court with regard to services of the Interior Ministry in East Jerusalem. In 2001, the Center continued to work on this petition. JCSER and CRC tried with this petition to force the Interior Ministry Office to improve its services provided to the Palestinian people living in East Jerusalem towards the same level as the people living in West Jerusalem. The petition demands equal rights for all applicants and equal services and treatment. The petition requests, for example, to improve waiting conditions and to make procedures more transparent and shorter in East Jerusalem, to translate application forms into Arabic, and in general to provide more effective and efficient services.
During the first hearing in September 2000, the Interior Ministry, amongst others, committed itself to move to a more appropriate office, to improve waiting facilities, to provide application forms translated into Arabic, and to increase its staff to be able to provide better services.
The second hearing in January 2001 focused on the progress made. The third and last hearing took place on 6 June 2001. The judges stated that they could see improvement in many ways and that they were convinced of the positive intentions of the Ministry, although until this moment nothing actually has changed. Furthermore, the judges shared the opinion that the case was too general and asked for specific cases about concrete damages caused by the Ministry.
Although the court dismissed the case without concrete improvement in the services provided by the Ministry to Palestinian applicants in East Jerusalem, the agreements and protocol give JCSER and CRC the possibility to observe the efforts of the Ministry to fulfill its obligations. Furthermore, both Centers will start to collect specific cases to submit to the Supreme Court as suggested by its judges.
This year JCSER also protested against the new procedures adopted by the Interior Ministry concerning family reunification. These new procedures include that applicants must appeal a negative decision within a one-year period after the decision is taken. However, at least ten applicants approached JCSER this year as they had found their applications rejected without having received a notification of this decision and neither having received a notification concerning the change in policy. Besides individual cases, two general letters concerning this issue were sent to the legal department of the Interior Ministry in May and October 2001 in which JCSER requests the cancellation of this new procedure or demands from the Interior Ministry that it makes sure letters are received by applicants. JCSER advocates for the use of just and transparent procedures towards applicants. This will be followed up during the year 2002.

The right to social security
The National Insurance Institute (NII) is responsible for implementing Israels social security policy. The NII provides a variety of allowances to Israeli citizens, including the residents of East Jerusalem. It pays allowances for children under 18 years of age, for senior male citizens over 65 and senior female citizens over 60 years of age. It also provides allowances for the unemployed and disabled suffering from physical disabilities and diseases. It pays allowances to cover hospital and medical expenses. It also pays other allowances including widow, delivery and death allowances. The entitlement to benefits from the NII depends on residency in Israel, including Jerusalem. However, the practices and policies in the provision of social insurance make a clear distinction between Israeli citizens and Palestinian residents, as is the case at the Interior Ministry previously described.
The NII is authorized by law to conduct investigations to verify that the individual, who claims an allowance lives in Israel and meets the conditions. It is NIIs policy to suspect every Palestinian Jerusalemite to actually live outside the Municipal boundaries and it therefore conducts an investigation of every Palestinian application. Furthermore, all Palestinian applicants have to provide all necessary documents and papers to prove his/her center of life within the Jerusalems municipal borders. In many cases, the NII approves the application only after taking legal action against it. Jewish citizens are not subjected to the same treatment, as their residency rights are not questioned.

NIIs investigations in East Jerusalem breach the principles of proper administration and grossly violate the rights of Palestinian residents. Two examples: (i) An investigation of a claim can take several months and takes place every time a Palestinian Jerusalemite approaches the NII. During the investigation period, the claimant does not receive allowances or health insurance. Accordingly, residents of East Jerusalem awaiting the results suffer financially. (ii) Investigations and their reports are in Hebrew. Palestinian Jerusalemites are forced to sign these documents without being able to understand the contents.

Since the start of the Second Intifada, NII investigators have not entered a number of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Israel says this is because of security reasons. However, therefore many Palestinians do not get the benefits and allowances to which they are entitled. Approximately 600 Palestinians were denied their right to social security in 2001 because of this policy.

An example: the case of NS
Ms. NS is pregnant and in her seventh months. She lives in the neighborhood of El Esawiah in East Jerusalem. At least three months before delivery, a pregnant woman has to register in a hospital. The hospital needs a letter from the NII in which it guarantees to pay for the hospital expenses. Ms. NS applied for this letter at the NII and submitted the documents that prove her 'center of life' in Jerusalem. Besides these documents her residency has to be investigated before being able to approve her application. However, because of the current situation, NII investigators do not go into some Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem for safety reasons. El Esawiah is one of these neighborhoods. This means that the investigation is being delayed and Ms. NS does not receive a guarantee letter. To be able to register her, the hospital asked for a deposit of NIS 5000, which she paid with help of her family.
The Center took up this case and assists Ms. NS in obtaining the rights she is entitled to.


JCSERs activities
Legal assistance
JCSER assisted 222 people concerning their social security involving the National Insurance Institute.


Five samples of social security cases involving the NII adopted by JCSER

Ms. DB
Ms. DB, a married woman and a mother of three children, receives social income from the NII, but no widow allowances after her husband died in 1995. The NII claims that her husband died in the West Bank.

She approached the Center for legal help. Following numerous legal follow-up, the NII approved to disburse widow allowances to Mr. DB.

Mr. RH
Mr. RH applied for elderly allowances at the age of 65. The NII turned down the application under the pretext that he lives outside Jerusalems municipal borders although he pays all taxes due, including Arnona municipal tax, income tax, and national insurance fees. It also discontinued his entitlements of health insurance.

He approached the Center on 6 February 2001 for legal assistance. The Center sent a memo dated 12 February 2001 to the District Labor Court, objecting to the NIIs decision and requesting the Court to reinstate the familys health insurance and to force the NII to pay elderly allowances retroactively to their client.

Following legal follow-up of the case, the Center was able to obtain a court decision to reinstate the familys health insurance. On the other hand, the Center continues to pursue the issue concerning the disbursement of elderly allowances to Mr. RH.

Ms. NN
In 1990, the NIIs investigators visited Ms. NNs house when she was not at home. The investigators concluded that the family lives outside the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. As a result, the NII discontinued her entitlements of child benefits, which she used to receive. She did not receive child benefits or delivery allowances from the NII for her four children born afterwards despite her applications. She approached the Center on 31 March 1999 for legal consultation.

When the NII did not respond to the Centers memos, it resorted to the District Labor Court. On 29 April 2001, the Center succeeded in obtaining a court decision to disburse child benefits retroactively as of 1 June 1995.

Mr. NM
Mr. NM approached the Center on 16 October 1999 after the NII discontinued his entitlements of disability and elderly allowances on 1 August 1999. JCSER sent memos to the NII, requesting it to disburse the clients entitlements.

As it did not receive a reply from the NII, the Center filed a case against it at the Labor Court. The NII replied that it used to pay Mr. NM 800 NIS a month since September 1995, although the family used to have a monthly income of 3,000 NIS. The familys entitlements were deducted from Mr. NMs allowances as accumulated debts. JCSER objected to this practice.

The NII approved to disburse elderly allowances only. The case filed at the Labor Court by JCSER was dismissed. The Center continues to follow-up on the issue concerning the annulment of previous debts.

Ms. HAS
In 1997, the NII discontinued Ms. HASs health insurance under the pretext that she lives outside Jerusalems borders. However, a year ago, the Interior Ministry approved to issue a one-year residency permit for her husband as a result of their family reunification application and to register their children. Although the Interior Ministry was convinced of their center of life in Jerusalem, the NII was not. She did not receive her entitlements of delivery allowances and child benefits.

She approached the Center on 20 March 2001 after she received a memo from the NII, requesting her to pay the national insurance fees. Following legal follow-up, the Center was able to reinstate the familys health insurance. It also disbursed the familys entitlements of child benefits in the amount of 10,333 NIS and to pay these allowances on a monthly basis as of July 2001.


Legal advocacy
In December 2000, JCSER submitted a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the National Insurance Institute (NII) for using only the Hebrew language during investigations and not Arabic. However, Arabic is the second official language in Israel and many Palestinians do not understand Hebrew. Until this moment, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been forced to sign documents and papers without being able to understand its contents. As a result, they risk loosing their rights and benefits to which they are entitled.
JCSER was able to obtain the NIIs official approval to use the Arabic language during investigations towards Palestinian Jerusalemites. The Israeli Supreme Court forced the NII to pay JCSER lawyers' fees and the NII will start using the Arabic language as of April 2002. This is an important achievement for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem.


The right to equal access to public services

There is a clear discrepancy between the Municipalitys services in East and West Jerusalem. However, the tax system is the same. The Arnona municipal tax problem relates specifically to East Jerusalem. The way the Arnona tax system is constructed and applied, it affects the Palestinian residents disproportionately hard and thus their ability to maintain a decent living and secure the future existence of their families in the city. Taking into consideration the uneven socio-economic and demographic conditions and the uneven income levels between East and West Jerusalem, the collection of taxes based on unified fees disadvantages the Palestinian residents.

When unable to pay, Palestinian residents are subjected to various punitive measures. These range from fines to seizure of property to imprisonment. The Municipality also sends the Arnona tax invoices with the water bills and can cut off water on those who are unable to pay these bills. The problems concerning Arnona are widespread in East Jerusalem and bear a heavy impact on daily life and the ability to maintain a living and secure the future existence of Palestinian families in the city.

The Arnona tax policy has negatively affected the development of trade and caused several small and medium sized enterprises owned by Palestinians to close within and around the Old City. In May 2001, JCSER conducted a survey, which showed that of the previous 1,000 shops in the Old City, over 250 had been closed over the years.

Where the tax system is united, the access to services is not. Structural discrimination against the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem is reflected in municipal budget and services.

Department of Municipality
(2000-2001)% of budget allocated to West Jerusalem% of budget allocated to East Jerusalem
Welfare 87.5%12.5%
Education 83.4%16.6%
Health 93.8% 6.2%
Social affairs 96.5% 3.5%
Culture 97.4% 2.6%
Sport 91.9% 8.1%
Trade 97.8% 2.2%
Youth 94.1% 5.9%
Religious affairs 100% 0%
Social & Related services 87.6%12.5%

The total amount of money spent in East Jerusalem was NIS 229,475,277 in the year 2000. This is 8.7 percent of the total municipal budget, which was NIS 2,640,320,000. This means that the Jerusalem Municipality spends about six times more on its Jewish population in comparison to its Palestinian population. Accumulated over the years since 1967, it amounts to huge and unjust differences in public services between East and West Jerusalem.

JCSERs activities
Legal assistance
JCSER worked on 87 Arnona tax cases during 2001.


Four samples of Arnona tax cases adopted by JCSER

Mr. JA
The Bailiff Office confiscated Mr. JAs electrical equipment seven times under the pretext that he owes the Jerusalem Municipality the amount of 23,000 NIS for tax debts and 10,000 NIS attorneys fees. As these amounts exceed his financial abilities, Mr. JA approached the Center on 28 March 2001 for legal help.

JCSER sent a memo to the Bailiff Court, attached with all documents, confirming that his income is below the poverty line and the requested amounts exceed his financial abilities. On 16 April 2001, the Center was able to obtain a court decision to stop all measures taken against its client, and to return confiscated property.

According to the court decision, the client will make a monthly payment of 250 NIS as of April 2001. The Center continues to follow-up the case with regard to canceling the entire amount.

Mr. AZ
Mr. AZ was requested to pay the amount of 16,000 NIS Arnona tax debts on a property that does not belong to him. He approached the Center on 28 February 1999 for legal assistance. JCSER filed a case against the Municipality, requesting it to cancel the name of the client from the real estate. It also requested the Municipality to pay all expenses and loses, including lawyers fees inflicted on their client.

During a court session held on 27 January 2001, the Municipality withdrew from the Court to avoid the payment of expenses. The court issued a decision to cancel the Arnona tax requested from the client and to refund the 3,350 NIS he had paid already.

Mr. NM
On 6 May 1995, the Municipality obtained a court decision requesting Mr. NM to pay the amount of 32,500 NIS Arnona tax debts on a shop in the Old City owned by his brother, who used to study in Spain and died there. In the beginning of 2001, the Municipality obtained another court decision requesting the payment of 117,965 NIS.

Mr. NM approached the Center on 12 February 2001 for legal help. After studying the file, the Center found out that the amount (117,965) included 32,500 NIS, which was issued illegally against their client in 1995. The Center filed a case against the Municipality. Following a number of sessions, the Court issued a decision on 21 October 2001 to cancel the amount of 32,500 NIS, in addition to interests, making a total of 66,000. According to the court decision, the client is required to pay the reduced amount of 56,000 NIS. At a later time, the Center was able to obtain a court decision, according to which the client would make a monthly payment of 250 NIS, and to cancel all legal measures taken against their client.

Mr. WS
Mr. WS rented a house in Beit Hanina during the period from 1 September 1991 to 31 August 1993, after which he moved to Al-Musrarah neighborhood in the Old City. In 1997, the Municipality carried out renovation works in the street near the house in Beit Hanina. He received a memo from the Municipality requesting the payment of 17,216 NIS, although the renovation was carried out four years after he left.

Mr. WS approached JCSER on 17 April 2001 for legal aid. The Center requested the cancellation of the amount. Following legal pursuit of the case, the Center was able on 15 February 2001 to obtain the Municipalitys approval to cancel the debt imposed illegally on its client.


Legal advocacy
Thursday 5 April 2001, the Israeli Supreme Court held a hearing to discuss JCSERs Arnona tax petition on behalf of merchants in East Jerusalem, which was submitted in October 2000. JCSER requested from the Municipality to refrain from imposing a unified Arnona tax and to take into consideration the business location and the economic and social differences between East & West Jerusalem. Income levels in West are much higher than in East. This difference was even increased as a result of the closure imposed on East Jerusalem since 1993.
JCSERs petition clarified the social, economic and commercial differences between West & East Jerusalem. The majority of residents in East Jerusalem earn the minimum level of wages and the unemployment rate is high. Despite this, the Arnona tax imposed in East & West Jerusalem is similar. Although the tax is unified in East and West Jerusalem, the Municipality differentiates between East & West concerning the infrastructure services provided and budgets allocated.
According to JCSER, the principles for tax collection in Jerusalem should be graded according to the income of the inhabitants and the level of municipal services should at least correspond with the level of taxes collected. Petitioners described the policy of a unified Arnona tax as a discriminatory and abusive measure against the interests of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem.
At the hearing, the Supreme Court issued a 45-day preventive order, according to which the Municipality should refrain from issuing new Arnona tax invoices to the Palestinian merchants in East Jerusalem or taking any measures against them. This preventive order was issued to give the judicial committee time to reply to the case. The Supreme Court also demanded that the Israeli Ministry of the Interior would join the case. JCSER prepares to follow up on this petition, which will continue in 2002.
JCSER submitted another petition against the Jerusalem Municipality concerning the cutting water supplies when people are not able to pay their water bills. The petition was submitted in August 2001 on behalf of JCSER and one family.
According to JCSER, the policy to cut off the supply of water to collect money is not in accordance with the law. In the is stated that the Municipality has several means to force people to pay their bills, however, the authorization does not include cutting the supply of water. Furthermore, JCSER considers access to water is a basic human right. The first hearing will be in March 2002.

The right to housing

During 2001, JCSER has documented an increase in violations of the right to housing. The biggest demolition campaign took place on July 9 in Shufat refugee camp. Israel demolished fourteen homes leaving their inhabitants homeless, many of them for the second time.

No considerable policy changes took place concerning planning, zoning and building restrictions in East Jerusalem. Most land for Palestinian housing is already built up or zoned as Green Area, which means building in not allowed. A Town Planning Scheme (TPS) is a precondition for residential land to be developed. In East Jerusalem, the approval of plans in Palestinian neighborhoods remained a problem. The Municipality keeps delaying urban planning for East Jerusalem.

An approved TPS limits the number of additional houses allowed to be built in Palestinian areas because of the demographic quota, and restricts building to low level. For construction to be legal, a building permit is required. As a result of zoning restrictions, recalcitrance on approval of TPS, it is almost impossible to obtain the necessary building permits. The process for such a permit is cumbersome, intrusive, time consuming, and expensive. In many cases the licensing process in East is more complex than in West Jerusalem due to problems relating to existing infrastructures and bureaucracy. Besides restrictions on building, the Municipality also places restrictions on renovation works. JCSER estimates that there are 1,400 houses inside the walls of the Old City in desperate need of renovation at the moment.
According to the Municipality, 191 out of 219 requests for building permits submitted in East Jerusalem were approved, while 1,087 out of 1,519 requests for building permits were granted in the rest of the city last year. Licenses for East Jerusalem were concentrated in South-East Jerusalem according to the Palestinian housing council and decreased compared to 2000. The decrease of the applications for building permits probably can be explained by the decreasing economic situation for most Palestinian Jerusalemites. Nowadays, the average cost of obtaining a permit is about US$ 20,000.
The policy for obtaining building permits, together with the costs involved, the shortage of housing, and the demographic growth lead to large-scale illegal building. To battle against the illegal construction, the Interior Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality adopted, besides other measures like imposing high fines, a policy of demolishing illegal buildings. This policy targets Palestinian areas disproportionately. At this moment, 2,000 demolition orders, affecting 12,000 housing units, are in effect for East Jerusalem. Over the last ten years, from 1992 until 2001, at least 250 Palestinian houses have been demolished in East Jerusalem. In West Jerusalem, demolition orders that destroyed a whole house were never carried out.

In East Jerusalem, 1117 buildings were built illegally in 2001 according to municipal information; the Municipality took legal procedures against 270 cases; 68 civil orders were sent to announce a demolition; 32 houses were actually demolished by the Municipality. These figures should be compared to the ones in West Jerusalem where 6051 buildings were built illegally in 2001; the Municipality took legal procedures against 760 cases; 8 civil orders were sent to demolish; 7 buildings were actually demolished by the Municipality. These were four tents; one kiosk; and two buildings, which were built on a cemetery.

These are only the demolitions of the Municipality. However, the Interior Ministry also demolishes homes. The estimated total number of homes demolished in East Jerusalem in 2001 is 51 buildings, which consists of 74 housing units according to the Multi Sector Working Group.


JCSERs activities

JCSER worked on 16 cases involving building without permit and home demolition.


Three samples of home demolition cases adopted by JCSER

Mr. SZ
In 1994, Mr. SZ built a house on pillars with a total area of 120 square meters. On 10 June 1996, a court decision was issued against him by the Jerusalem Municipality to demolish parts of the house. In a response, he closed the space between the pillars. He approached the Center for legal help as the Municipality filed another case against him.

JCSER submitted an urgent request on 30 January 2001, requesting the Municipality to postpone the court session due to the bad health conditions of Mr. SZ at that time. He had heart problems and was receiving medical treatment. On 24 April 2001, a court session was held in which Mr. SZ was charged a 30,000-NIS fine. The client was also asked to apply for a building permit.

Although the immediate threat of demolition is gone, his problems remain on the long-term. He is charged high fees exceeding his financial abilities, as he is unemployed and has to take care of his five children.

Mr. AJ
In 2000, the Jerusalem Municipality filed a case against Mr. AJ for building a two-floor house in Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood without obtaining a building permit. His son approached the Center for legal assistance.

After examining the file, JCSER concluded that the bill of indictment submitted by the Municipality contradicts the facts on the ground. On 6 August 2001, the Center was able to obtain a court decision to dismiss the case according to the law of limitation. The case was dismissed, as the Center was able to prove that the house was built many years ago. This law means that a case is cancelled if no legal action is taken against the accused person within a period of seven years.

Mr. MM
The family of Ms. MM built a house with a total area of 110 square meters to solve their housing crisis. On 14 June 2000, she approached the Center after she received a house demolition order from the Municipality on 7 June 2000.

The Center filed a case against the Municipality. On 29 May 2001, a court session was held, during which the Court issued a decision requesting the client to pay a fine of 49,800-NIS. A monthly payment of 500 NIS will be made as of 10 September 2001. The client will be given time until 1 June 2002 to complete the process of obtaining a building permit to prevent her home from demolition.


The right to freedom of movement
Israel has intensified its siege and closure of on East Jerusalem and increased the number of Israeli military checkpoints surrounding the city. New structural checkpoints between East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank have been erected, dirt roads have been closed, and the number of security forces increased. This policy of closure has an enormous impact on economic, social, and cultural life in the city.
Checkpoints are set-up on each main road entering the city. This has closed the border between the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and East Jerusalem. To enter Jerusalem, Palestinians without Jerusalem ID must apply for a permit. Obtaining the permit is a lengthy, humiliating, and arbitrary process. Considerable personal documents are required. There are no published criteria for receiving permits, and there is no requirement to state reasons for denying one, nor is there any avenue of appeal for Palestinians denied permits. In 2001, Israel hardly issued entrance permits anymore for Palestinians without a Jerusalem ID card except for medical reasons and medical staff.

With the Second Intifada that began on 28 September 2000, a new wave of heavy closures has been launched. In East Jerusalem, the closure has become much stricter since the start of the Intifada. Israels occupation forces have regularly erected military checkpoints at the entrances of Ras Khamis, Ras Al-Amud and Al-Zu'ayyem neighborhoods, and at the entrances of Anata and Shufat camps. Israel also erected three additional military checkpoints on Wadi Al-Nar road, which connects Jerusalem with the Bethlehem area.

Today, checkpoints represent exceedingly long lines, harassment, humiliation, and inhumane treatment in a variety of forms for the Palestinian people and have become a daily reality for many of them. Citizens are forced to wait long hours if they are able to pass through at all. Checkpoints prevent workers and employees from reaching their workplace, students from reaching their schools, patients from reaching hospitals, etc. Israeli Forces prevented Palestinian ambulances from passing checkpoints to reach injured Palestinians and transport them to hospitals, arrested Palestinian workers and employees. Regularly, fire is opened on civilians at the Qalandia military checkpoint.


JCSERs activities

Legal advocacy
JCSER started with the preparation of a petition against the Israeli Ministry of Defense. On 11 November 2001, it sent the first letter to the Israeli Defense Minister, Benjamin Ben-Eleizer. The letter requests the removal of checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, specifically the ones in Beit Hanina, Ras Al-Amud and Qalandia. JCSER wrote the letter on behalf of residents of these neighborhoods. The preparations for the petition will continue in 2002.

The right to own property: Land confiscation and settlement construction

Land confiscation
Since 1948, Israel has confiscated Palestinian land in Jerusalem for public interest. The confiscation has partly been on an individual basis, but has also taken place on a far larger scale. After 1948, Israel confiscated all Palestinian owned land in West Jerusalem, which was 40 percent of the total area. Between 1967 and 1994, a total of 24.8 square kilometers of land (35 percent) was expropriated in East Jerusalem out of the 70.5 square kilometers annexed in 1967. 80 percent of this land was taken from the Palestinians. The Israeli authorities used most of this land for the construction of settlements for the Jewish population of Jerusalem and roads leading to these settlements (16 square kilometers). The other nine are not yet developed, but probably will be in the future for the same purposes. Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land. It earmarked six square kilometers more in East Jerusalem for confiscation.

In 2001, land confiscations took place in four Palestinian neighborhoods, namely Beit Hanina, Beit Safafa, Shufat and Sheih Jarrah. According to the Municipality, land was confiscated for public interest, namely to build schools, public parks, the eastern ring road and to develop a railway network and to build a railway station at the French Hill junction. The Municipality is also going to demolish houses for this purpose.

In 2001, the Israeli authority sent letters for confiscation to all people who own land on the 580 dunums of East Jerusalem needed to build the ring road around the eastern part of the city. The total area of land that will be confiscation for this purpose is 1070 dunums.

Settlement and by-pass road construction
The Old City and Palestinian neighborhoods around the Old City like Silwan, Ras Al-Amud and Sheikh Jarrah are increasingly exposed to extremist Jewish settler groups, who aim to take over as much Palestinian property as possible. These settlers receive security from the Israeli authorities. The costs budgeted for settler security in 2001 was US$ 5.1 million.

Besides taking over of property by settler groups, the Municipality has planned and overseen the construction of sixteen Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem since 1967: Old City; Ramat Ashkol, Givat Hamiftar, French Hill; Hebrew University; Gilo; Neve Yacob; Ramot; East Talpiot; Malst Defna; Atarst; Pisgat Zeev; Pisgat Omer; Rekhes Shufat; Givat Hamatos; Har Homa.
The building and connecting of settlements from around and inside Jerusalem starts now on land for the Greater Jerusalem Plan, which was confiscated in the 80s. This project is called the Eastern Gate Project. The Municipality will implement this project in three phases and it will include, amongst others, 2000 housing units for Jewish settlers. The Municipality approved the plan.
The Municipality built an additional 2,000 housing units in existing Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem in 2001, for example in Har Homa, Ras Al-Amud, Pisgat Zeev, and Neev Jacov. These constructions took place without new planning schemes. For example, the master plan for Pisgat Zeev was approved in 1985 for 12,000 housing units. Now, Pisgat Zeev is being expanded by 1000 housing units annually.

There are currently several new plans for settlement construction in East Jerusalem:
-Ras Al-Amud: 15 dunums for 121 housing units. This plan is approved by the Municipality and the houses are currently being built. 32 housing units have been sold so far.
-Baba Az-Zahara (Old City): approval for the construction of 200 housing units, which included digging for historical sites.
-Jabel al-Mukaber: 115 dunums. Approved by the Municipality.
-A-Tur: 30 dunums. In process of approving
-Shufat: 15 to 17 dunums: In process of approving. The Municipality is planning to start building a commercial high tech residential area
-Silwan: 10 dunums. Not approved yet.
-A-Rum: 42 dunums. Not approved yet.
-Abu Dis: No further information available at this moment.
-Issawiya: No further information available at this moment.
-Anata: No further information available at this moment.

Furthermore, the Israeli government opened a network of bypass roads to connect these settlements. These roads isolate a large number of Palestinian villages in the eastern parts of the city. If the additional settlements on the Municipalitys agenda are built, including the bypass roads to link the settlements, East Jerusalem will be completely separated from the West Bank and integrated into Israels vision of a unified city.

In 2001, the Municipality continued building the Jerusalem Ring Road, which requires the confiscation of Palestinian land and additional demolition of Palestinian homes. This ring road will include two tunnels and one bridge and will cost NIS 900 million. One tunnel will be constructed under Mount Scopus to connect Jerusalem with the settlement of Maala Adumin.


JCSERs activities

JCSER did not conduct activities concerning the issue of land confiscation and settlement construction except for monitoring the developments taking place.

The right to education

There are 93 schools in East Jerusalem with a total of 51,625 pupils. These can be divided in four categories: (i) 22 Al-Waqf schools (8,042 pupils); (ii) 7 UNWRA schools (2,753 pupils); (iii) 29 Private schools (11,031 pupils); (iv) 35 Municipality or Jerusalem Education Authority schools (30,989 pupils).

Several Israeli policies and practices limit the access of Palestinian children in Jerusalem to free and compulsory education in the Jerusalem Education Authority (JEA) schools in East Jerusalem. In order for a child to be registered in school, the JEA requires proof of residency in the city. Palestinian children, whose parents have no residency status or had their residency status revoked, yet remain in the city, are often denied their right to public education.
Another factor that limits the access of Palestinian children is that the Municipal Education System in East Jerusalem suffers from a severe lack of space and facilities. The responsibility for such structures lies within the Israeli Ministry of Education, but the Ministry has not provided the necessary buildings in East Jerusalem or set out plans for such development.
The overall situation of the public Arab education system, in both budget and educational standards is insufficient. The JEA has 169 schools in West Jerusalem and 35 in East Jerusalem. However, Palestinian students comprise one-third of the school age (5-19 years) population in the city. The teaching methods are outdated and the studying environment lacks resources. The number of teaching hours per Jewish pupil or class is far greater than that per Palestinian pupil or class.
Some examples show the difference between East and West: (i) 16.6% of the budget for 2001-2002 for education was allocated for education in East Jerusalem; (ii) NIS 780 per student per year is spent in municipal school in West compared to NIS 250 per student per year in municipal schools in East Jerusalem; (iii) The number of grants given to teachers for studying is 382 percent higher in the Jewish sector; (iv) There are 75 educational psychologists in West compared to 5 in East Jerusalem; (v) There are 36 public libraries in West compared to 4 in East Jerusalem.
As a result of the growing overcrowding, the Municipality turns away children who want to register at Municipal schools. For this school year (2001 2002) more than 3,000 Palestinian children, who requested to study in the municipal public schools, could not be accepted. An additional unknown number of children attempted to register for school but were not even recorded in the waiting lists as the Municipality abruptly terminated all registration on 23 March 2001. This is in violation of the registration regulations. In the Jewish sector every child is accepted for free public education.
The Israeli High Court decided in August this year that there is no effective solution to the plight of more than 3,000 Jerusalem Arab children who are requesting to study in public schools, as a result of continuous neglect of the Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministry of Education.
JCSERs activities

JCSER did not conduct activities concerning the issue of education except for monitoring the developments taking place.