Ngo information submitted by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (acri) to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights For Consideration when assessing the compliance of the State of Israel under the International Covenant on


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Executive Summary

The report at hand is structured in accordance with the list of issues prepared by the Committee and is therefore divided into different sections according to the articles of the ICESCR and subsections according to the issues raised by the Committee. The Executive summary will give a brief overview over the issues raised and the implementation (or lack thereof) of the ICESCR by the state of Israel.
Article 1 - Self-determination: The report on hand deals with the right self-determination in accordance to three different issues. Firstly, it is concerned with that unrecognized status of Bedouin villages in Israel's Negev, its implications and the recent Prawer report that was recently adopted by the government in order to deal with this issue. However, this report fails to take the special nature and the needs of the Bedouin people into account and disregards their special connection to their traditional lands. Secondly, the report focuses on the lack of housing solutions for the Arab population and the discriminatory land allocation of Jewish National Fund (JNF) Lands. Thirdly, it deals with the deferral of democratic elections to the Abu Basma council, which denies the Bedouin people in the Abu Basma Council region their democratic participation rights and their self-determination on a local level.
Article 2, paragraph 2: - Non-discrimination: In this section the report is concerned with the marginalized position of Bedouin women in the Israeli society. The report establishes a direct connection between the discriminatory policies against Bedouins in general and the direct effects those have on Bedouin women, especially in regards to access to health services and polygamous practices in Bedouin society.

Article 6 - The right to work: In this section the report deals with two issues. It is firstly concerned with the recent data of unemployment according to occupation, sex and population which establishes that only the elite has profited from the economic growth in Israel and that the job market is still dominated by discriminatory practice. Further, the obstacles of military service and the lack of transportation from Arab towns to big cities both directly impact the Arab population's access to the job market. Secondly, the report focuses on the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and their right to work and specifically deals with the issue of accessibility of their farmlands due to the separation barrier.

Article 7 - The right to just and favorable conditions of work: In this section, the report deals with the wage differences between men and women, which has not been eliminated and is still substantially high. Further, the report deals with the issue of the complaints to the ombudswoman by foreign workers and underlines the exclusion of care-givers to file a complaint to the ombudswoman.
Article 9 - The right to social security: In this section the focus lies on two issues. First, it deals with the recent reductions of unemployment benefits and the recent policy of restricting eligibility for such benefits. These practices deny benefits to many unemployed people. Second, it establishes that the revocation of residency rights violates the basic rights of the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem.
Article 10 - Protection of the family, mothers and children: In this section the report deals with the denial of legalizing the status of spouses from the Palestinians Occupied Territories and other specific Arab countries and the subsequent denial of the right to family according to the covenant.

Article 11 - The right to adequate standard of living: The report focuses on the three different aspects of the right to an adequate standard of living. Firstly, it establishes that the severity, as well as the depth of poverty has increased in recent years. The report analyses the data with special consideration to the different population groups in Israeli society. The report further establishes a link between the highest poverty rates, found in the ultra-orthodox and the Arab communities and the lack of labor force of ultra-orthodox men and Arab women. Secondly, the focus lies on the lack of affordable housing for the Israeli population, especially in light of the lack of social housing and the policies on housing assistance that further marginalizes poor households. Lastly, it deals with the special situation in East Jerusalem, specifically with the discriminatory policies of issuing building permits, which make it practically impossible for the Arab population to build on their own lands, and the housing crisis that results from that policy.

Article 12 - The right to physical and mental Health: In this section the report briefly deals with the lack of medical assistance provided to asylum seekers, as well as with the weak position of migrant workers when dealing with health insurance due to dependency on their employers, language barriers and the failure to enforce their rights.
Articles 13 and 14 - The Right To Education: In this section, the report deals with the failure of the state to provide sufficient classrooms and the infrastructure required in schools for Arab Israeli children, and therefore the failure to implement articles 13 and 14 ICESCR without discrimination. Special focus is given to the connection between the lack of classrooms and the high dropout rate of Arab students and to the marginalized position of Bedouin women that leads to the highest dropout rate of Bedouin girls and women among the Israeli society. In addition, this section describes the severity of the lack of classrooms in East Jerusalem and the failure to implement recent court rulings, which acknowledge the state responsibility to provide for free education. Further, this part deals with the situation of the education for human rights in Israel and reluctance of the education system to promote it due, in part, to the false assumption that human rights are connected with political tendencies.

Article 15: Cultural rights: In this section the report is concerned with Israel failure to implement Arabic as an official language and the implications of this failure on guarantying cultural rights for Arabs. Further the report deals with the accessibility of non-Jewish holy sites in East Jerusalem and establishes that the lack of public transportation in and to East Jerusalem fails to protect the cultural rights of the Arab population. Lastly, this section is concerned with the school curriculum of the Arab schools that is not fully guaranteed the cultural heritage of the Arab minority. Special focus is given to the war the Israeli government has declared on the Nakba over the past two years.

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