Israel’s Separation Wall Causes Poverty to Increase in East Jerusalem

Palestinian protesters sit on top of the separation wall during clashes with Israel forces in Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem. (Photo: Yotam Ronen, Activestills.org)

More than four out of every five Palestinian residents from Occupied East Jerusalem had incomes under the poverty line in 2014,  the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies reported. This is four times the national poverty rate in Israel.

The data, drawn from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the National Insurance Institute, shows a sharp increase in poverty levels among Palestinians in the city.

The data further stated that 82 percent of East Jerusalem residents have incomes under the poverty line. The poverty rate among East Jerusalem children alone,  in 2014, was 86.6 percent.

Ha’aretz reported that the reason for the high poverty rate “was the construction of the separation fence, which cut Jerusalem off from the West Bank,” as this caused “severe harm to businesses that relied on customers from the West Bank, and also raised the cost of living because there were no more cheap imports from the West Bank”.

In addition, “one out of every three workers in East Jerusalem lives in a neighborhood outside the separation fence”, thus making it “very hard for them to work in the city”.

Adding to the problem “is that over the past two years thousands of East Jerusalem residents have been arrested”, mostly people of working age. Being arrested “often leads to dismissal”, making potential employers reluctant to hire someone with a police record.

(MEMO, PC)

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