A report issued by an Israeli NGO has revealed a rise in the number of Palestinians in Jerusalem who are living below the poverty line. This is attributed to the policies of the Israeli occupation authorities against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
According to the report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Jerusalem's 360,000 Palestinian residents, totalling 38 per cent of the city's population, suffer from extreme poverty as a result of neglect by consecutive Israeli governments. Conditions for those in East Jerusalem have deteriorated, with 78 per cent now living in poverty.
The NGO pointed to the "Separation Barrier", which has transformed occupied East Jerusalem "from being a central urban hub that provides services and opportunities to wide portions of the West Bank, to a border city with extremely limited access". It also notes the rising unemployment rate among East Jerusalem's citizens, with a 40 per cent unemployment rate for Palestinian men and 85 per cent for Palestinian women in the city.
Warning of "a depleted education system", which "suffers from severe neglect, disproportionately low budget allocations, overcrowding, a lack of available classrooms and many other woes", the Association for Civil Rights in Israel added, "Palestinian students start dropping out of school at an alarming rate already from early ages and 40 per cent do not complete 12 years of education."