High Court slams authorities for inadequate water supply to East Jerusalem
For over ten months, the Arab neighborhoods of Ras Shehada, Ras Khamis, Dahyat A’salam and the Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem are suffering from water shortages. The crisis began last March, when the completion of the separation wall cut them off the water supply, leaving them without running water for three weeks. The Water Authority and the Ministry of Infrastructure refused to extend the pipeline, leaving 80,000 people with only a limited access to water. Following a petition from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the court gave the relevant bodies 60 days to submit an upgrade plan of the infrastructure that will solve this problem.
In East Jerusalem not only water is hard to come by but also postal services are almost nonexistent. According to ACRI's petition to the High Court, only 8 offices provide service to 300,000 Arab residents, compared to 44 offices for 530,000 Jewish residents. There is more than one Israeli authority responsible for this blatant discrimination – the court requested Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, The head of Israel Postal Company Chaim Almoznino and Communications Ministry director general Avi Berger to attend the hearing and explain themselves. The court harshly criticized the Communications Ministry's negligence for its failure to implement equally new standards of service that were recommended in April 2014.