Providing Service in Arabic at the Employment Office in West Jerusalem
On 18.2.2020, ACRI appealed to the High Court of Israel on behalf of three East Jerusalem residents and Ma’an (the Workers Advice Center), demanding that the court order the Israeli Employment Service to provide service in Arabic to new job-seekers from East Jerusalem who are sent to the Employment Service’s office on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem.
Until June of 2018, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem could only be assisted at the Employment Services Office in Wadi Joz. Following previous petitions to the High Court of Justice, the Attorney General ruled that new job-seekers could also receive services in the Jaffa Street office. The petition posited that despite the Attorney General’s clear ruling, the Employment Service is doing its utmost to prevent East Jerusalem residents from receiving full and equitable service in the West Jerusalem office. The office remains unprepared to receive Palestinian job-seekers who are not Hebrew-speakers, neither has it hired Arabic-speaking clerks nor provided translators, and has neglected to update the new policy on its website. What has proved even more troubling, is that Employment Service office clerks in West Jerusalem refused service to new applicants who are Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem over the course of the year since the new requirement came into effect. When those residents reached out to the Jaffa Street location, they were regularly redirected to the office in Wadi Joz.
The petition asserts that the language barrier imposed by the Employment Service against residents of East Jerusalem violates their rights to dignity, equality, language, privacy, and social security, and constitutes discrimination and segregation on an ethnic basis.
HCJ Ruling 1291/20 Qaswani v. Employment Service
Attorney Abir Joubran Dakwar
For further information (Hebrew)