Adalah Awarded Legal Fees in Segev Shalom (Shkeb) Case


The Supreme Court today awarded Adalah legal fees for its representation of the Parents Committee in Segev Shalom (Shkeb) against the government-appointed Local Council in Segev Shalom and the Ministry of Education. The petition, submitted on 1 December 1999 demanded that kindergartens be established for 400 Arab Bedouin children, in accordance with previously issued governmental-decisions 

In July 1999, the Minister of Education added Segev Shalom (Shkeb) to the list of towns that enjoy free education for 3-4 year old children. The Minister based his decision on the poor socio-economic condition of Segev Shalom (Shkeb). The Ministry of Finance supported the decision, and allocated the appropriate budgets for the kindergartens, which were to be opened on 1 September 1999. 

In October 1999, the Municipality opened four pre-schools in Segev Shalom (Shkeb) for 200 children. An additional two hundred children, aged 3-4 years old, were excluded and remained without any facilities. The four kindergartens fell far below the minimum standards of operation set by the Ministry of Education, with overcrowded classrooms and play space. The Municipality closed the kindergartens on 3 November citing safety reasons. After protests by the parents, the appointed head of Segev Shalom (Shkeb) Municipality repeatedly promised to repair and re-open the kindergartens by 22 November 1999. 

In response to Adalah's petition, on 29 December 1999, the Court issued an order nisi. This decision recognized that Adalah's claims had a legal basis, and required the Local Council and the Ministry of Education to respond to the petition within seven days. 

On 13 January 1999, the kindergartens were reopened. In light of this, Adalah asked the Court to compel the respondents to pay legal fees for its representation.