Discrimination of Arab Customers in Apartment Sales
On August 24, 2021, we filed a petition with the Be’er Sheva Administrative Court against the Israel Land Authority (ILA), demanding that a construction company be fined for discriminating against Arab customers.
The company, “Peretz Bonei Hanegev,” won a price-per-occupant tender, within the framework of which it received housing units for free marketing. The tender includes a clause prohibiting the winning company from unacceptable discrimination upon marketing and selling the housing units. When the petitioner, an Arab citizen, expressed interest in purchasing an apartment within the project, the sales representative referred him to the Ministry of Housing and lied to him about the possibility of purchasing an apartment outside the price-per-occupant framework. The same incident occurred with three other Arab customers, who all received the same false and misleading answer. On the other hand, Jews who applied were immediately invited to see the apartments, received full details, and were able to proceed with their purchase.
In December of 2020, we appealed to the ILA demanding that they impose a fine on the Peretz Bonei Hanegev company. Following a hearing held with the company, the ILA decided to dismiss the complaint, with insufficient rationale, without even permitting us to respond to the company's claims. Thereafter, the petition was filed.
The petition claims that the company's conduct, which was recurrent, clearly intended to prevent potential Arab customers from proceeding to purchase an apartment in the project, solely because they were Arabs. This was conducted on racist grounds, or since they are deemed “undesirable” customers in the company's eyes, who may compromise the attractiveness of the project in the eyes of their other customers. We claimed that in the face of unequivocal evidence of discrimination on behalf of the company, the Tenders Committee's decision not to impose a fine infringes upon the right to equality, conveys a harsh message of the state’s acceptance of flagrant discrimination on public land, and is extremely unacceptable. We further claim that the Tenders Committee’s decision not to allow ACRI to argue its claims during the proceedings constitutes a violation of the State’s responsibilities to conduct a hearing and make a decision on a fully factual basis.
administrative petition 54529-08-21
Attorney: Gil Gan-Mor
For further information (Hebrew)