Most Jerusalem Palestinians Live in Poverty: Israeli Study
May 10 2010
Most Palestinians in east Jerusalem, including three out of four children, live below the poverty line, an Israeli rights group said on Monday, accusing Israel of neglect and discrimination.
“A unified Jerusalem does not exist,” the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said in a report released as the Jewish state begins celebrations to mark the 43rd anniversary of its 1967 capture of Arab east Jerusalem.
“The truth is, two cities exist side by side,” the report said, challenging Israel’s claim that it unified the Holy City after annexing the Arab sector in a move not recognized by the international community.
Seventy-five percent of Palestinian children in east Jerusalem live in poverty compared with 45 percent of the city’s Jewish children, the report said.
“Over 95,000 children in east Jerusalem live in a perpetual state of poverty,” ACRI said.
Despite the rampant poverty, only 10 percent of east Jerusalem’s 300,000 Palestinians have access to social services, it added.
The neglect extends to just about every sector of life in the Arab sector, and ACRI blamed this on the authorities.
“Israel’s policy for the past four decades has taken concrete form as discrimination in planning and construction, expropriation of land, and minimal investment in physical infrastructure and government and municipal services,” the report said.
The office of Nir Barkat, the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, told AFP it had no immediate comment on the report.
Israel has expropriated more than one-third of east Jerusalem land which was privately owned by Palestinians, on which it has built more than 50,000 homes for the Jewish population.
Virtually no permits for Palestinian housing construction have been issued for decades, there is a shortage of about 1,000 classrooms and rubbish collection is sporadic at best, as are postal services, the report said.
The annual budget allocation per elementary school child in east Jerusalem was 577 shekels (152 dollars) compared with 2,372 shekels (627 dollars) in west Jerusalem.
About 160,000 Palestinian residents have no suitable and legal connection to the water network and 50 kilometres (30 miles) of main sewage lines are lacking, the report said.
At the end of 2009 approximately 303,429 Palestinians lived in east Jerusalem, which equals around 36 percent of the city’s total population of some 835,450.
Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its “eternal” capital, while Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
The status of the Holy City, as well as that of Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land, have long been among the thorniest issues in Palestinian-Israeli efforts to reach a peace deal. Source
Israel building 14 units in al-Quds
May 10 2010
Settler groups have started building 14 new units in the Palestinian neighborhood near an old police station in Ras al-Amoud, in al-Quds (East Jerusalem).
The Israeli far-left Peace Now organization revealed on Sunday that 1,900 settlers already live in 119 units in that area and own them.
It added that since elected as the mayor of East al-Quds in 2008, Nir Barkat has remained “faithful” to the settlers in al-Quds. It warned that the increasing number of settlers in occupied al-Quds would lead to a future of no political deal with the Palestinians.
It is not known if the settlers have obtained permits for the new construction. As per reports, the settlers have received 1,213 permits, while only 136 permits have been issued to the Palestinians in the same neighborhoods.
An expert on the settlement and maps, Khalil al-Tufkaji, said: “The construction in Ras al-Amoud settlement is one of the most dangerous plans in al-Quds, especially when the Israeli occupation seeks to establish a large settlement there.”
The Israelis have plans to build more units in the area and to integrate the settlements of Ma’aleh Oztenem consisting of 200 units, and the settlement of Givat David with 104 units, al-Tufkaji pointed out.
This plan obstructs any possibility of a Palestinian capital in the holy city, he added.
As the proximity talks began on Sunday, this is a clear message to the Palestinians that al-Quds is outside the framework of any negotiations, and construction in the city is “just like the construction in Tel Aviv,” as Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said. Source
Settlers can get permits but Palestinians cannot. Bigotry/Discrimination at it’s finest.
The whole idea is to make the lives of Palestinians as horrid as possible. Israel wants all their land. Seems they don’t care who or how many live in poverty or are removed from their land and homes.