This is what makes a real reflection on Reality : A new report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) provides a concerning overview of the human rights situation for Palestinians in Jerusalem. The report – East Jerusalem: Facts and Figures 2015 – paints a picture of persistent neglect and increasing violence.
Facts and Figures: East Jerusalem 2015
• Number of residents: There are 300,200 Palestinian residents in Jerusalem, who constitute 36.8% of the city’s population.
• Separation Barrier: More than ¼ of residents reside in Jerusalem neighborhoods that are disconnected from the rest of the city due to the construction of a separation barrier. These residents suffer from a severe lack of basic services and infrastructure.
• Residency status: Palestinians in Jerusalem are not citizens, but rather permanent residents; in 2014, the residency status of 107 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem was revoked.
• Living below the poverty line: 75.4% of all Palestinian residents, 83.9% of Palestinian children.
• Welfare services: 37% of those receiving welfare services in Jerusalem are Palestinians, but only 22% of the social workers are allocated to them.
• Schools: Only 41% of Palestinian children are enrolled in official municipal high schools. There is a shortage of 1,000 classrooms in the official municipal education system; 194 official classrooms were added between the years 2009-2014, and an additional 211 are in planning.
• Inadequate classrooms: 43% of the classrooms in the official municipal system are defined as inadequate classrooms.
• School dropout rate: 26% in 11th grade, 33% in 12th grade; the national average stands at a few percent.
• Planning and building: Approximately 20,000 houses were built without a permit; recently, a large outline plan was approved for the neighborhood of Arav al-Swahara.
• House demolitions: In 2014, 98 structures were demolished and 208 residents have been uprooted from their homes; Israel has also renewed its policy of punitive demolitions for the houses of terrorists.
• Water: Only 64% of households are officially connected to the water infrastructure of Hagihon Corporation – Jerusalem’s water and wastewater company.
• Sewage: There is a shortage of approximately 30 kilometers of sewage pipes; throughout 2015, Hagihon plans to lay an additional 8.2 kilometers.
• Street names: Since 2011, names were given to hundreds of streets that had stood nameless for decades, but the streets of entire neighborhoods still remain unnamed.
• Postal services: Only 7% of the postal workers operating in Jerusalem provide services to the Palestinian neighborhoods; there are 8 post offices in East Jerusalem, compared with 40 in the city’s West; during peak hours at the central post office on Saleh e-Din St., the waiting time often stands at more than two hours.
• Infant healthcare stations: In the Palestinian neighborhoods, there are only 6 “Tipat Halav” (infant healthcare) stations operated by the Ministry of Health, and a seventh station in Kafr Aqab that is operated by a private contractor. In the Israeli neighborhoods, the Ministry of Health operates 26 Tipat Halav stations, 3 of which are designated also for the Palestinian population.
• The neighborhoods behind the Separation Barrier: Between a quarter to a third of East Jerusalem residents live in neighborhoods that have been cut off from the city by the Separation Barrier, and they are forced to pass through checkpoints on a daily basis. The residents of these areas suffer from severe neglect and a tremendous shortage of services and infrastructure; their persistent appeals to the authorities receive no response.