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  • ACRI

Stop postal privatization until human rights protection is ensured

On April 8, 2024, together with the Human Rights Clinic in Civil Proceedings at the University of Haifa, we sent legal correspondence to the head of the Government Companies Authority, the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Economy Committee, demanding a halt to the sale of Israel Post, and to act first to ensure the human rights of service recipients in the framework of privatization and in the operation of the service in the future.

In the correspondence, Attorney Maskit Bendel argued that the sale of the company to private entities (which may also be foreign companies) and the full privatization of the services, particularly the services of the Postal Bank, in the planned format, will cause severe harm to the rights of Israeli residents, particularly those living in poverty and residents of the periphery. A significant portion of those who receive social security benefits have no possibility of receiving digital financial services and do not have credit cards.  Moreover, many of them receive their benefits in person at the branches of the Postal Bank. After privatization, this population may find itself unable to withdraw subsistence benefits due to changes in the location of post offices, their closure, the absence of the obligation to open them, and more.

Although postal services, and in particular the Postal Bank, are essential, the decrees regulating privatization do not address consumer rights and basic questions such as: what is the proper provision of the service; equitable distribution of branches; the obligatory personnel in the branches for the provision of the service; rules regarding accessibility for cash withdrawals at ATMs (commission, etc.) and more. There is also no protection of the right to privacy of millions of citizens whose details are stored in the database of the Postal Authority and the Postal Bank, which includes highly private information such as addresses, photocopies of identity cards, credit card numbers, signatures and more.

The application was written with the assistance of intern Yael Seidemann


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