Israeli Supreme Court: Israel has 30 days to explain why Arab communities don't receive development benefits enjoyed by neighboring Jewish towns

Adalah and Arab Center for Alternative Planning filed Supreme Court petition against discriminatory funding practice in August 2020 on behalf of a slew of Palestinian communities in Israel's 'northern triangle' region.


The Israeli Supreme Court issued on Thursday afternoon, 22 April 2021, an order nisi in the petition filed last year by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and The Arab Center for Alternative Planning, demanding that Palestinian communities in the "northern triangle" region be included in "National Priority Areas" eligible for housing, construction, and land development benefits.


The Israeli Supreme Court granted Israeli state authorities 30 days to explain why Arab localities in the "northern triangle" are not slated to receive the same development benefits received by neighboring Jewish localities with higher socio-economic rankings.


Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara filed the petition with professional planning consultation from urban planner Dr. Enaya Banna from the Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP).


The petition was initially filed on 6 August 2020 on behalf of all Arab local authorities in Wadi Ara and 74 area residents, in cooperation with the Public Committee for the Defense of Land and Housing in Wadi Ara, the petitioners' own localities, the local councils of Umm al-Fahm, Baqa al-Gharbiya, the Ara-Ar’ara, Kfar Qara, Ma'ale ‘Iron, Basmah and Jatt, and the communities of Umm al-Qatif, Misar, and Al-‘Iryan which have not received “National Priority Area” (NPA) designation that would make them eligible for development and housing benefits and land discounts from the Israel Land Authority.


CLICK HERE to view explanatory maps and to read more details on the petition


The temporary injunction indicates that the Supreme Court sees solid legal basis for the arguments made by Adalah and ACAP in their petition.


The justices queried the Israeli state's practice of not including Palestinian Arab communities in the NPAs while adjacent Jewish towns with superior socio-economic rankings were included in these areas and granted benefits.


Arab communities in Israel suffer from a severe housing shortage, and the inclusion of Wadi Ara communities in the NPAs would positively impact upon housing prices and allow local residents to exercise their right to housing.


Adalah and the Arab Center for Alternative Planning responded Thursday afternoon to the court's ruling:


"Palestinian Arab communities in Israel suffer from a housing crisis, much of which is reflected in high prices and a lack of affordable housing. Israeli government policy is creating a situation in which weaker Arab communities don't receive the same benefits as their neighbors in stronger Jewish communities. This order nisi signals a recognition of serious issues relating to Israeli state criteria excluding Palestinian citizens, and we expect this reality to be similarly reflected in the Israeli Supreme Court's final ruling."


CLICK HERE to read the Israeli Supreme Court decision [Hebrew]



Arab towns petition Israeli Supreme Court: We demand gov’t development benefits enjoyed by neighboring Jewish towns, 6 August 2020