Photo Essay

Please wait while JT SlideShow is loading images...
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

mod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_countermod_vvisit_counter
mod_vvisit_counterToday1570
mod_vvisit_counterYesterday1323
mod_vvisit_counterThis week2893
mod_vvisit_counterLast week11532
mod_vvisit_counterThis month39558
mod_vvisit_counterLast month58630
mod_vvisit_counterAll days3428632

We have: 98 guests online
Your IP: 54.225.20.73
 , 
Today: Oct 23, 2017

Interim Report 2010

Print PDF

Introduction:

This interim report covers JCSER interventions and responses in the first half of 2010, to Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in occupied Jerusalem. It also provides a feedback about JCSER challenges to Israeli legal system in addition to its efforts of raising public awareness on the local, regional and international levels in an attempt to urge members of the international community to move to pressure the Israeli government to honor international humanitarian law by halting its abuses against the Palestinian people.

Abstract:

During the first half of 2010, JCSER provided legal consultation and representation to 619 cases, which form an increase by 133% in comparison with the first half of 2009. In other words, the average total number of direct and indirect beneficiaries from the legal aid which was provided by the program was estimated at 3714 Palestinians. Although in some cases, the legal representation did not succeed in cancelling the demolition orders completely, but at least it postponed their implementation, a fact that give more time to the beneficiaries to work on obtaining construction licenses.

JCSER believes that in addition to the legal support, the Palestinian population of Jerusalem need continuous financial support to overcome their difficult economic hardships, since most of them live under the poverty line.

On the other hand, JCSER began to upgrade and develop its current data base by using a more sophisticated computer system for documentation. Within this context, the center was able to transfer between 5% and 10% of its data to the new system.

Nevertheless, JCSER was able to obtain the most updated data regarding the number of revoked ID cards until June 2010. The data was made available to JCSER by office of the Israeli Ministry of Interior. According to the data, 46 ID cards had been revoked in 2010 (until June 6) while the entire number of Palestinians whose residency right in Jerusalem had been revoked since 1967 amounts to 14,383. In 2008, Israeli authorities revoked Id cards of 4672 Palestinians, while in 2009, 721 cards had been revoked.

Moreover, the center issued four special reports in the first half of the year although they were supposed to be issued during the entire year.

In regards to efforts on the local, regional and international levels, the center via the current project, co-organized and participated in several local and international meetings. On the local level, the center participated in four conferences which aimed to discuss the economic situation of Jerusalem; the future of the occupied city; impacts of Israeli violations on the status of Palestinian women in addition to the various impacts of the Israeli segregation wall on the life of Palestinian community in the city. During the various meetings, the center representatives delivered informative presentations about the general situation of human rights in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

For the international meetings, the centers participated in two UN sponsored meetings in Turkey and Egypt, in which the center delivered presentations about the Israeli policies of revoking ID cards of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem in addition of the displacement policies which are practiced by the Israeli occupation as part of their overall policy of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian Arab population of the city. The center also participated in several local workshops and activities which addressed the status of human rights in Jerusalem.

However, in regards to the center's efforts in awareness' raising, it published 59 press releases to draw the attention of Palestinian and international public to Israeli violations. The releases demonstrated how the Israeli policies against the Palestinians of Jerusalem contravened with international Humanitarian Law in addition to their appeals for the international community intervention to secure the human rights of Palestinians in their occupied city. The releases were published in the most circulated Palestinian local papers in addition to the most popular web sites. On its part, director of the center also held dozens of interviews with local, regional and international media to comment on the various Israeli policies in the city.

1- JCSER Legal Program:

This program provided legal consultancies and representations to Palestinian population of Jerusalem who had been subjected to forced Israeli displacement measures and policies. Currently, there are around 303,429 Palestinians living in occupied Jerusalem, of whom 66.8% of the families and 74% of the children (94,000) live under the poverty line. Since the beginning of Israeli illegal occupation and annexation of the city in 1967, Israels objectives in Jerusalem was to have as less Palestinians as possible while meanwhile having as much Jews. To this end, Israeli authorities imposed various pressures and adopted different measures against Palestinians in order to restrict their number in the city. On January 7, 2010, Yakir Segev who is in charge of East Jerusalem Portfolio in Israel's Jerusalem Municipality which is headed by the right wing Nir Barkat announced that the segregation wall was built for demographic reasons "to remove 55,000 Arabs from Jerusalem." Within the context of this policy, Israeli authorities revoked the residency rights of 14, 383 persons since 1967 up until June 2010. However, during the first half of 2010 (until June 9), Israeli authorities revoked the residency rights of 46 Palestinians, according to the data obtained exclusively by JCSER from the Israeli Ministry of Interior.

In 2009, Israeli authorities forced the displacement of more than 500 Palestinian after demolishing their homes in various parts of the city under the pretext that they were built without licenses. This is not to mention that there are around 20,000 pending demolition orders in Jerusalem including 657 in Silwan neighborhood. The Jerusalem Municipality also collected NIS 17,710,000 in 2009 alone in construction fines which were imposed mostly on Palestinians. However, in the first half of 2010, Israeli authorities demolished 17 Palestinians homes in various parts of the city, leaving 150 displaced persons. During the same period of time, Israeli authorities issued 116 new demolition orders against Palestinian homes in various parts of the city, leaving 500 affected Palestinians. Meanwhile, three Palestinians were forced to demolish their homes by their own hands because they couldnt afford paying costs of demolition to the municipality.

Through the current project, JCSER continued with its job of challenging the Israeli systematic policy of forced displacement of Palestinians. It also tried to exploit the Israeli legal system to alleviate the sufferings of disadvantaged Palestinians and reinforce their steadfastness in their city. In this regard, the first half of 2010, observed the success in providing legal assistance to a number of direct and indirect beneficiaries that reach around 3714.

1-1 Legal representation

In the first half of 2010, JCSER was able to obtain court orders in four legal cases pertaining house demolition and national insurance benefits. There are still 34 cases being followed by the Center, but await court decisions. Although in some cases of demolition orders, the legal representation did not succeed in cancelling the demolition orders completely, but at least it postponed their implementation, a fact that give more time to the beneficiaries to work on obtaining construction licenses.

It should be mentioned in this regard that t he cost of a law suit in Israeli legal system varies depending on the nature of the case. There are some cases where the courts do not condition paying any fee, while there are others were the fees reach at least NIS 400. However, attorney's fees differ from one private office to another and it could range between $1000 and $10,000 in some cases.

1-2 Legal Consultancies

Through this activity, the project provided qualitative legal services by professional lawyers to the impoverished Palestinians who cannot afford paying legal fees because of their economic hardships. In the first half of the year, the project provided consultancies on various issues of daily life, including land ownership and confiscation, settlements, building and structural organization procedures, houses demolition, family reunification, child registration, ID cards revocation, taxes, mobility restrictions and other issues related to Palestinians' rights in Jerusalem.

In the first half of 2010, the project provided consultancies to 606 Palestinians of Jerusalem, as follows:-

Month

Construction fines

National insurance benefits

Arnona Tax

Family re-unification

Miscellaneous

Jan.

40

14

45

16

10

Feb.

30

10

40

14

10

March

29

10

30

18

8

April

20

11

25

10

6

May

26

8

47

11

16

June

22

15

34

8

23

Total

167

68

221

77

73

606

1-3 Bargaining deals:

During the first half of the year, JCSER lawyers were able to achieve several bargaining deals with the Israeli authorities over 9 cases, mostly related to Arnona tax, family unification, child registrations and others. In such cases, certain deals had been achieved without the need to pursue with the court proceedings.

1-4 Description of achievements:

In general, this part of the project was able to protect the rights of Palestinians in 606 cases. In other words, the number of indirect beneficiaries from the legal program in the first half of the year was estimated at 3714 Palestinians.

Moreover, the project provided an immediate response to some Palestinians who are living under eminent threat of displacement, knowing that there are over 20,000 outstanding demolition orders against Palestinians homes in occupied Jerusalem, which means that actually, there are 120,000 Palestinians living under imminent threat of displacement.

The reality of human rights situation in occupied Jerusalem imposed a big challenge for JCSER which is obliged to increase its capacity to tackle more cases, in an attempt to try to cope with the soaring level of Israeli escalation in the holy city. This is not to mention that the number of cases tackled by the Center in the first half of 2010 was 133% higher than the number of cases in the first half of 2009.

In light of the continuous mounting number of cases received by the Center, more financial burden will lie on its shoulders, a fact that urged it to look for new financial sources to cover for expenses of the escalating size of the legal program.

Based on its experience, JCSER believes that in addition to the legal support, the Palestinians population of Jerusalem need continuous financial support to overcome their difficult economic hardships, since most of them live under the poverty line.

1-5 Special cases

1-5-1 Johar Hashimeh:

On October 27, 2002, Jerusalem Municipality's court imposed a fine of NIS 16,000 on Johar Hashimeh on claims that the house was built without a license. He was also ordered to demolish it before May 1, 2004 however that period of time was extended until December 31, 2005. But another charge sheet was filed against him including the charges of not implementing a previous court decision. Consequently, he was fined with NIS 6000 in addition of being issued a suspended imprisonment. Yet, he was given another ultimatum until January 1, 2010, following the JCSER's petition to the Municipality's court to postpone the demolition in order to give Hashimeh more time to obtain a construction license. On January 31, 2010 Israeli court accepted JCSER request by deciding the suspension of the demolition order until October 3, 2010 t o give more time for the owner to obtain a construction license.

1-5-2 George and Merriam Hananiya:

The Center's legal unit succeeded in retaining the residency rights of the Palestinian couple of Jerusalem, George and Merriam Hananiya who resides in the Old City of Jerusalem. They restored their Jerusalem Id cards after being revoked in 2006 on claims that they had shifted their center of life to Germany for seven years.

On May 11, 2006 the Jerusalemite couple received a note form the office of the Israeli Ministry of Interior informing them that their IDs had been revoked after obtaining the permanent residency in Germany. The ministry also ordered them to leave the country within one month. However, after appealing against the Israeli decision on December 20, 2006, the ministry sent another note confirming its previous position regarding the revocation of their residency rights.

On May 2009, JCSER's lawyer sent a letter to the ministry requesting the restoration of the IDs to the Palestinian couple. He also provided all the documents proving that the center of their life is in fact in Jerusalem and not in Germany.

According to Israeli regulations there is no possibility for restoring a revoked ID card in case its holder obtains the citizenship or the permanent residency right in another country. Meanwhile, the regulations stipulate that any person with a revoked ID card can retain it in case he returns to live in the country for two consecutive years.

Office of the Israeli ministry also requested information from the German emigration department regarding the legal status of the two couples.

On March 2010, office of the Israeli ministry of interior sent a letter to JCSER to inform it about its approval to re-issue the couple their ID cards. Consequently, on April 14, 2010 they retained their ID cards. According to lawyer Qadah retaining the ID cards will enable the couple to restore all of their social benefits namely the health insurance.

On his part, George Hananiyah said that he never lost hope in retaining his residency rights in his birthplace city. He also confirmed that his travel to Germany was for the purpose of receiving medical treatment.

1-5-3 Ibrahim and Zinat al-Kilani

Ibrahim al-Kilani was first reported to the center in June 2010 because he was under the threat of seizing his properties because of his accumulated debts on his building which was built on 57 sq. meters. Following JCSER's intervention in his case and after reaching a deal with the Jerusalem Municipality, al-Kilani is now no more living under the threat of seizing his properties.

According to the deal which was brooked by JCSER, al-Kilani paid the amount of debt which was reduced to NIS 600 in addition to the fees for the municipality's lawyer (NIS 820). Finally, the court decided to close the file against him after he had paid all of his dues.

2. Data Base

Since its establishment in 1997, JCESR had compiled a reliable data base regarding the Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. The Center has recently begun to upgrade and develop its current data base, to serve as a reference for concerned researchers and parties with human rights violations in occupied Jerusalem. In this regard, it developed and upgraded the documentation software, began scanning the available data base at the Center and started to classify it as part of its plan to build a modern updated system for documentation. In the first half of 2010, the Center was able to post and document between 5% and 10% of its data in the new system.

JCSER hopes that the new updated system of documentation will provide accurate information about various issues of violations in regards to residency rights (ID cards revocation, family unification and child registration); social security rights including insurance (access to health services, provision of allowances and social benefits); municipal services and tax system namely Arnona property tax-, provision of equal services; building restrictions and "illegal" building (house demolitions, fines and imprisonment).

The new system is expected to help tracking trends of violations of Palestinian human rights and issuing special and periodic analysis in this regard.

During the first half of the year, JCSER was able to obtain the most updated data regarding the number of revoked ID cards until June 2010. The data was made available to JCSER by office of the Israeli Ministry of Interior. According to the data, 46 ID cards had been revoked in 2010 (until June 6) while the entire number of Palestinians whose residency right in Jerusalem had been revoked since 1967 amounts to 14,383.

(For more details, visit the following link:

http://www.jcser.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=575&catid=33:special-reports&Itemid=34

Moreover, in the first half of 2010, JCSER continued to update its facts sheet that includes information about various aspects of Israeli polices and violations in the occupied city. The sheet is considered by many researchers as very important and informative.

In addition, the center began a campaign of publishing what it collected of affidavits in order to create more awareness among the public about Israel policies and measures.

3. Research

In addition of issuing the regular monthly reports, the first part of 2010 observed publishing four special reports that address and shed lights on various issues of concerns for the Palestinian population in Jerusalem.

The reports were as follows:

1. Al-Nakba report: on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe), JCSER published a special report that included informative data about Israeli measures in the city.

2. Targeting Palestinian Tourist Guides' report. The report addresses Israeli polices and laws that target Palestinian tourist guides.

3. A special report about the municipal insistence on collecting taxes from Palestinians residing outside the segregation wall.

4. A special report about revocation of Palestinian ID cards since 1967 up until June 2010.

It should be mentioned that according to JCSER action plan 2010, the center was supposed to issue four special reports throughout the entire year however, the reports were issued in the first half of the year.

4. Awareness Raising

The center continued with its efforts to raise awareness among local citizens of occupied Jerusalem. The centers staff continued to participate in the activities which were organized in the protesting tent in Silwan and the weekly protesting activity against appropriation of Palestinian properties and homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jar rah.

The two areas observe the main focus of Israeli settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem which aim to evacuate the Palestinian residents in the area, demolish their homes and establish new Jewish settlements on wreckage of Palestinian homes and properties.

The center also participated in most workshops and conferences which were organized by various local organizations namely the Coalition for Jerusalem, in which the center is a key member. JCESR staff also participated in the joint activities with other organizations of civil society. During such activities, the center shared its experience in intervention and defending human rights in Jerusalem, with other partners and colleagues. .

4-1 Conferences:

The center also co-organized and participated in several local and regional conferences which addressed the theme of human rights, namely in Jerusalem.

4-1-1 Local conferences:

1- The Jerusalem Economic Situation. It was organized on March 3, 2010 in the National Hotel in Jerusalem. The conference's aim was to put recommendations for boasting Palestinian economy and supporting Palestinian merchants in the city. JCSER was a member of the Preparatory Committee of the conference. The conference recommended JCSER to provide legal support to Palestinian merchants. Moreover, it urged for increasing the size of trade exchange between Palestinian merchants of Jerusalem and their colleagues inside the green line.

2- Conference of "Jerusalem the Present and Future." It was organized by PLO's department of Jerusalem Affairs and al-Quds University. The conference was convened on April 26 and 27 2010. It also recommended the creation of a new network of human rights organizations (including JCSER) to coordinate the provision of legal aid support to the Palestinian population of Jerusalem.

3- A conference about the status of Palestinian woman in Jerusalem. The conference was organized by the Palestinian Ministry of Woman Affairs on March 8, during which the director of the Center delivered a presentation with updated information and statistics about the general situation of human rights in the city in general. However, he focused in his speech on the impact of Israeli policies and measures on Palestinian women in Jerusalem.

4- A conference organized by Ministry of Local Government, to discuss impact of the segregation wall on the Palestinian citizens and their movement. The director of the conference delivered a presentation about the impact of the segregation wall on the status of human rights in Jerusalem.

4-1-2 International conferences:

1- JCSER participated in the United Nations International Meeting in Support of the Israeli- Palestinian Peace Process which was held in Istanbul on May 25 and 26, 2010 in addition of the United Nations Public Forum in Support of the Palestinian People which was convened on May 27 in the same city. JCSER representative presented a paper about revocation of Palestinians' ID cards in Jerusalem. The paper provided a brief history about the entire Israeli policy in the city since it felt under Israeli occupation in 1967. The paper was posted by then at the UN web site. It provided the audience with updated information and statistics about the issue.

2- JCSER presented a testimony before the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of Occupied Territories which was convened in Cairo on June 9, 2010. The testimony was about Israeli measures and practices in occupied Jerusalem in general with a special focus on revocation of ID cards, child registration and family unification.

4-1-3 Workshops and social activities:

1- JCSER participated in the brainstorming meeting to explore prospects of Jerusalem future, which was organized by Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, ARIJ, on June 10 in al-Bireh.

2- It also participated in the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) 2011 Workshop Jerusalem, Ramallah, Jericho & the Jordan Valley, which was organized by OCHA on July 27, 2010.

3- The center also participated in a special meeting about the future of Jerusalem which was organized by the former minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ziad Abu Zayyad on June 3.

4- The center participated in Sunday's Cultural Saloon which was organized in cooperation with the French Consulate and the Jerusalem Press Club, about the future of education in Jerusalem

5- JCSER also participated in an educational day organized by the Islamic Christian Commission about the dangers facing Palestinian holy sites.

6- The center participated in a special open day which was organized by the Ministry of Local Government about the situation in Jerusalem. The event was convened in headquarters of the ministry in Ramallah.

4-2 Press releases:

As part of its efforts to increase awareness regarding the various Israeli measures and practices that target Palestinian population, the center issued 59 press releases in the first half of the year. The releases addressed various urgent issues of concerns for the Palestinian population in Jerusalem. By them, the center attempted to provide guidance over dealing with the various Israeli policies. It also presented the international law perspective towards Israeli positions and decisions against the Palestinian population of the city. They also urged for local, regional and international response and interference to force the occupation authorities to halt they abuses of Palestinian human rights. The statements were wildly published particularly in local press, namely al-Quds newspaper the biggest circulating paper in the Palestinian territories, in addition to the major media web sites.

5. Networking

Based on the belief that only consolidating collective acts are the best effective response to Israeli measures and practices in Jerusalem, JCESR helped in establishing several coalitions and is already part of others such as:

The Jerusalem Coalition against House Demolition;

The coalition for the Defense of Jerusalem;

The Coalition to Stop ID Card Confiscation from Palestinian Jerusalemites;

The Coalition for Education;

The Land Defense Committees.

The Popular Committees against the Wall.

Following the Israeli decision to deport the Palestinian parliamentarians from their homes in Jerusalem, the center played a key role in establishing the National Committee to Resist Deportation in coordination with other Palestinian national figures and human right activities. The committee was very active in organizing several press conferences to raise awareness and sponsoring solidarity activities with the Palestinian parliamentarians of Jerusalem. Israeli authorities had revoked ID cards of four members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, in addition to a former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs' and ordered them to leave their city however they refused and decided to establish a sit-in tent inside headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

- The center also played a major role in establishing a joint committee of Palestinians from Jerusalem and inside the green line, in order to coordinate and organize joint efforts to confront and resist Israeli violations of human rights in Jerusalem and inside the green line.

- Moreover, JCSER was a key player in launching the International Campaign against Revoking the Residency Rights of Palestinians form Jerusalem on July 29, 2010.

6. Policy formulation

In the first half of 2010, JCSER co-organized three economic workshops which were attended by several Palestinian businessmen and merchants in addition to a number of non-governmental organizations. The meetings which were organized under the slogan of "How to promote Jerusalem," discussed several means of supporting Palestinian merchants in the city.

The three meetings recommended organizing an economic conference with the participation of experts, scholars, businessmen and politicians to discover ways for supporting Palestinian merchants boast their economy and increase their cooperation with their colleagues inside the green line.

The recommended conference which was convened on March 3, assigned JCSER to undertake the mission of providing legal support to the Palestinian merchants of Jerusalem.

7. Media and information

As part of the center efforts to shed lights on issues of concerns for the Palestinian population of Jerusalem, the center participated in organizing:

- A press conference on March 23 in al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan about the economic situation in Jerusalem.

- A press conference at Salah Family's house in Beit Safafah on May 11, regarding the Israeli court decision to evacuate the family of their home in the area.

Moreover, as part of increasing its influence on the decision makers and create awareness on the local, Arab and international levels, director of the Center held dozens of media interviews with local, Arab and foreign media to discuss the general situation in Jerusalem, the status of Human rights, in addition of Israeli violations and abuses of the Palestinian population. The interviews were distributed as follows:

Interviews by JCSER's director

Number of interviews

Media

TV

139

Jordanian, Saudi (Arabic & English), al-Jazeera (English & Arabic), Bahraini, Russian, Future, Nile, Arabia, Lebanese, LBC, al-Quds, KSA, Pal media, Manar, Egyptian, Syrian, MBC, Kuwaiti, Omani, CNN.

Radio

96

Voice of Arabs, al-Sharq, Ajyal, al-Quds, al-Iman, German Radio, Voice of Israel, Fursan al-Iradah, al-Salam, Chinese Radio, Amwaj, Angam, Cairo, Rai, Zein, Canadian Radio.

News papers and magazines

34

Al-Safeer, Palestine, al-Shorouk, Egyptian today, Liberation, al-Sharq, al-Hayyat al-Jadidah, Emirates, Yediot Ahronot, Morocco, Dan Chi China, Tobina Hirone.

Internet media sites

17

Islam Online, Maan, al-Jazeera net, Palestine net.

Media agencies

4

AFP, Middle East Agency, Abna Qudsana, Jerusalem Media Center.

Consular and International delegations

8

Turkish, Spanish and Swedish delegations..

Conclusion

Referring to its action plan of 2010, JCSER was able to increase by 133% its legal assistance to the impoverished Palestinian population in the occupied city of Jerusalem in the first half of 2010. It also issued the planned four special reports in 2010 in the first half of the year.

Moreover, JCSER began to update and improve its documentation system. Within this context, the center was able to obtain from the Israeli Ministry of Interior updated information about the number of revoked ID cards until 2010.

In consent with the center policy to coordinate its efforts with other human rights organizations, the center was very active in participating in most joint activities with other partners and to pursue with its efforts with networking with other partners. In this regard, the center played a key role in establishing the National Committee Against Deportation in addition of another coordination committee with leaders of the Palestinian Arab minorities in Israel.