High Court Criticizes Postal Services Across East Jerusalem

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In a hearing held today (June 13) the High Court of Justice criticized the poor provision of postal services in Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem and told authorities that the process of improving these services “needs to be accelerated.” The justices set another court hearing in four months’ time to monitor developments.

 

 

 

The petition was submitted by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and representatives of Palestinian neighborhoods in June 2010 against the Ministry of Communications, Israel Postal Company and the Jerusalem Municipality, who for decades have neglected to provide adequate postal services. Delivery of mail to homes in East Jerusalem is infrequent and severely delayed in some areas, and completely non-existent in others. Though one in every three Jerusalem residents is Palestinian, there are only nine post offices in East Jerusalem, compared to more than forty offices in West Jerusalem. Residents are often obliged to leave their neighborhood to access services and rent a P.O. Box.

 

The poor state of postal services in East Jerusalem has severe implications and causes great harm and frustration to the residents. Official documents and bills sent by mail, for example from the tax authority and the courts, often reach their destinations after serious delays and sometimes never arrive at the correct address. In some neighborhoods mail items are left exposed in public spaces such as kiosks and mosques in ways that violate privacy.

 

A representative of the Jerusalem Municipality told the court today that by the end of 2014 all nameless streets in East Jerusalem will be named, and houses will be given numbers to enable delivery of mail directly to people’s homes. This wide-spread phenomenon of nameless streets is part of the general planning failure by the Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem that severely impacts residents’ daily lives and the services afforded to them.

 

Related Materials

The petition and the responses of the authorities (in Hebrew).

ACRI Report: Neglect and Suppression in East Jerusalem.

 

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Categories: East Jerusalem, Provision of Services

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