Palestinian citizens of Israel face systematic discrimination in housing policy, according to new figures from legal advocacy organisation Adalah released in a new study to mark ‘Land Day’.
According to the Haifa-based group, just 4.6% of Israel’s housing tenders are published in Arab towns and villages, even though Palestinian citizens constitute 20% of the population.
The study is based on official statistics from Israel’s Land Authority for marketed tenders for land and housing units in 2014.
In 2014, the ILD published tenders for the construction of 38,261 housing units (not including so-called ‘mixed cities’, where only a small minority of the Palestinian population lives) – out of which only 1,844 units were published in Arab communities.
Moreover, the Israeli authorities published tenders for the construction of 36 industrial zones in Jewish communities during the year (including five in illegal settlements) – while no tenders for industrial zones were published for Arab communities.
This means that over a five year period, from 2009-2014, the ILA published 328 tenders for industrial and commercial zones in Israeli Jewish communities, but only 13 in Palestinian communities.
The discrimination faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel is particularly striking when compared to the situation in illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
In 2014, the ILA published tenders for 3,163 housing units in Jewish settlements, compared to 1,844 units in Palestinian communities in Israel – even though the population of the latter is double that of the former.
Adalah also pointed to the ILA’s sale in 2014 of 77 properties belonging to Palestinian refugees as further evidence of the state’s “racist and discriminatory policies.”