ACRI petitions against establishment of exclusive neighborhood for career officers in Jerusalem

Building in Jerusalem (CC-Guy Yitzhaki)Building in Jerusalem (Photo by Guy Yitzhaki, CC-BY)

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a petition to the High Court of Justice on Monday (January 14) to quash Resolution 4655, a government initiative under which state lands in Jerusalem will be allocated, without a tender, for the development of an exclusive neighborhood for military career officers.

Attorney Gil Gan Mor, Director of the Right to Housing Project at ACRI, submitted the petition, which contends that the allocation of public lands exclusively to career officers is illegal because it violates the Mandatory Tenders Law and the right to equality. The allocation of state land exclusively for housing for career officers can be undertaken only at the initiation of the military itself, and only on the condition that it establishes a need connected to the functioning of the military. In this case, the government and the Jerusalem municipality initiated the action. Therefore, according to the petition, the allocation constitutes improper discrimination for the benefit of a group of the municipality’s choosing.

The petition decries the allocation of public lands to a select professional group based on the government’s perception of the group as desirable or upstanding. Moreover, military service is an especially problematic condition for inclusion in any endeavor because by its nature, military service precludes people of certain ages, nationalities, able-ness, and religion. Indeed, it is possible that these criteria were used precisely for this purpose.

Attorney Gan Mor: “In recent years we have seen more and more situations in which cities try to advance exclusive neighborhoods for so-called desirable residents. In this case they are even using public lands (a scarce resource in Jerusalem), which are meant to serve the general public. The municipality and government are obligated to act on behalf of all the city’s residents, and they are prohibited from establishing exclusive exclusionary projects in cities.”

ACRI previously achieved an important legal precedent when its 2009 petition against the establishment of a housing development exclusively for hi-tech and financial professionals in Tel Aviv resulted in a court order obligating the developers to market the housing units to the general public.


  • To read the petition (in Hebrew) click here.
  • For more information about the 2009 Tel Aviv petition (in Hebrew) click here.
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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties, Housing Rights, Planning and Building Rights

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