Thursday, 19 October 2017
  • One of the biggest victories for the community cases was the tax checkpoint issue.  After CAC’s 3 years of hard work with cooperating centers (Human Rights - Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights, and the Jerusalem Centre for Legal Assistance for Human Rights and the Association for Civil Rights) on the issue of Tax Checkpoints, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a final decision to put a halt to the tax checkpoints. The tax checkpoints were one of many tactics used by the Israeli government since 1967 to practice racism against the East Jerusalem Palestinians. After 44 years, the Jerusalemites were happy to be rid of them.

  • Another victory scored was the end of the Wisconsin Plan on April 29, 2010 after it was initiated in 2005. Participants of the Plan lobbied along with the CAC for 5 years against the Welfare-to-Work rules.   As a result, many changes were made such as, a change in the age requirement, service providers contracts , as well as requirements for medical notes.  Although there were changes made, the Center did not stop there; the lobbying was still in effect as the Wisconsin Plan targeted more than 52% whereas the Palestinians are actually only 33% of the total population. Also, more than 60% of the Wisconsin Plan participants from East Jerusalem were women.

  • A third community success was the different changes made in the Shu'fat Refugee Camp's school to enhance the educational environment of the school, such as reducing the children’s and teachers’ exposure to unhealthy product emissions from the metal factory, supplying the school with air conditions, building new bathrooms, and renovating the classrooms and the school yard.

Nine thousand Palestinian children living in East Jerusalem are deprived from receiving education due to the lack of places in any of the four school systems operating in their community. As the educational issues for East Jerusalem children reaches a crisis point, both the EU and a Jerusalemite community center have stepped up efforts to work within the existing system to ensure the right to education for East Jerusalem Palestinians.

Efforts are being made by Palestinian organizations such as the Community Action Center/Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, to lobby the Israeli municipality to make good on its promise (which it also made to the Israeli High Court) in March 2007 to build 400 new classrooms in East Jerusalem over the next five years.

As of the start of the 2008 school year, one new school had been built but the situation has further been complicated as Israel continues to build the separation wall through the area of occupied East Jerusalem. Children of the Shu’fat Refugee Camp, who hold “permanent resident” status in Israel, saw their school land on the west side of the separation wall while their homes were mostly on the eastern side.

As a provisional measure, the Jerusalem Municipality gave the students an old market building, which had sold everything from groceries to goats, to be their school. The building, located next to a metal factory that releases noxious fumes during the day, was declared unsafe and the students and parents have gone demonstrated to protest against the unsafe conditions of the proposed location of the school.

The CAC organized a sit-in with the students of the school in front of the Israeli Jerusalem Municipal buildings to protest the actions of the governor in denying them their right to a safe and healthy education.

The Center has issued a call to the international community to visit the school provided for the children of Shu’fat camp, and are hoping that international organizations from the EU such as Save the Children and the Faisal Husseini Foundation will support them in putting pressure on the Israeli Municipal government, which is legally supposed to serve the East Jerusalem population.