Demanding Repairs to Road and Junction for Elementary School in Arab Bedouin Village in the Naqab.

HCJ 6773/05, Ali Afnan Jabouah, et. al. v. Ministry of Education, et. al.

Petition filed in 7/05 to the Supreme Court on behalf of the head of the Local Committee of al-Fur’a against the Ministries of Education, Interior, Construction and Housing, and Transport, as well as the Abu Basma Regional Council in the Naqab, demanding that the appropriate state authority cut and pave a four kilometer-long dirt track which currently leads to the elementary school in the unrecognized Arab Bedouin village of al-Fur’a in the Naqab (Negev). The dirt track poses several safety concerns for the school’s teachers and 1,187 pupils, which prevent them from reaching the school during bad weather. Adalah argued that the state’s failure to pave an appropriate and safe road to the elementary school violates the children’s rights to education and access to education under both Israeli and international human rights law.

During a hearing held in 8/05, the state responded announcing that the relevant authority would repair the road. At the hearing, Adalah raised the additional question of necessary repairs to the junction linking the main road between Beer el-Sabe (Beer Sheva) and ‘Arad to the track. The state, however, refused to consider the status of the junction arguing that Adalah had not raised the issue in its initial petition. Adalah further argued before the Court that the question of improved access to the school was inexorably connected to the condition of the junction, and that the state must therefore repair it as well as the road. The Court ordered the state to repair the road leading to the school within two months and to submit its response regarding the junction within 30 days. In 9/05, the Court ordered the state to repair the junction in addition to the road and report to the Court regarding which ministry will pay for the repairs.

In 10/05, the AG responded that the Ministry of Education and Prime Minister's Office will bear responsibility for the cost of making repairs to the junction. In 11/05, Adalah informed the court that the road repairs carried out by the state were insufficient. In 12/05, the state committed to carry out repairs to the road immediately should any damage occur to it in the course of the coming year. The Court suggested to Adalah to accept the state's commitment, confirming that Adalah reserves the right to revert to the Court in case of any such damage. Following a request made by Adalah, in 1/06, the Court ordered the state to pay 15,000 NIS in legal fees to Adalah.

H.C. 6773/05, Ali Afnan Jabouah, et. al. v. Ministry of Education, et. al.