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Clarify Municipality`s Accountability for East Jerusalem Neighborhoods Located Beyond the Separation Barrier
Press Release, 10 January 2010


ACRI to Jerusalem Mayor:

Clarify Municipality`s Accountability for East Jerusalem Neighborhoods Located Beyond the Separation Barrier

Attorney Tali Nir: “Segev put out in the open what other other Municipality officials, including Mayor Nir Barkat, denied till today: Despite the fact that these Palestinian neighborhoods are within the municipal borders of Jerusalem, the Municipality and other State authorities are intentionally failing their duty to provide these residents with the most basic of services`

In response to remarks made by Yakir Segev, who holds the East Jerusalem Portfolio at the Jerusalem Municipality, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) intervened with Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday, January 10, 2010: “Segev`s statement that the Jerusalem Municipality has no role in managing the municipal affairs of Palestinian neighborhoods situated on the other side of the Separation Barrier constitutes an admission that the Municipality is breaking the law. We urge you to unequivocally clarify that the Municipality has a responsibility to provide services in these neighborhoods, located within the municipal border, and ask that you take action for implementation.”

Speaking at a conference titled “Municipal Equality in East Jerusalem”, Segev said: “The Jerusalem Municipality currently has no role in managing these neighborhoods, and is incapable of dealing with the complicated state of affairs that some 55,000 residents of these neighborhoods are facing today. The State of Israel has given up on these neighborhoods, which are today outside the domain of the State of Israel, and certainly that of the municipality. From every practical standpoint - this is Ramallah. Besides the partly-delusional Right, I don`t know anyone who is really trying to enforce Israeli sovereignty over these areas”.

Attorney Tali Nir from ACRI noted in response that “Segev let the cat out of the bag. To date, whenever ACRI has intervened with the Jerusalem Municipality on behalf of some 55,000 residents who live on the other side of the barrier, we were told that the Municipality was doing its utmost to care for the rights of these residents, and that any problems that arose were the result of security concerns rather than deliberate policy”.

“Segev put out in the open what other other Municipality officials, including Mayor Nir Barkat, denied till today: Despite the fact that these Palestinian neighborhoods are within the municipal borders of Jerusalem, and though these residents pay full municipal property taxes, the Jerusalem Municipality and other State authorities are intentionally failing their duty to provide these residents with the most basic of services. In carrying out this policy, which is also expressed by meager budget allocation to neighborhoods beyond the barrier, the Jerusalem Municipality is breaking the law, which requires it to provide equal municipal services to all residents, without bias.

`The result is a harsh infringement on the rights of tens of thousands of Jerusalem residents: Their right to receive emergency medical care, police protection, and the services of the fire department; their right to live in a clean environment with adequate sanitation; the right of children to education; and the list goes on. We urge Mayor Barkat to act decisively and to eradicate discrimination in the provision of municipal services and budgets for residents of East Jerusalem neighborhoods on the other side of the Separation Barrier, thus ensuring that all their rights as residents of Jerusalem are safegaurded”.

For further details:

Ronit Sela
054-758-7857
ronits@acri.org.il



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