Lack of affordable housing,
rise in water rates, persecution of asylum seekers
and discrimination against Palestinians – these are some the trends highlighted in the 2012 human rights report
released by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) on Sunday.
The report shows that the past year has witnessed deterioration in housing rights – the issue at the heart of 2011's social protest
– evident in governmental objection to the promotion of affordable housing solutions and de facto "destruction" of public housing.
"The Trajtenberg committee's
recommendations remained a dead letter," the report said. "In the 18 months since the law went into effect, the national housing committees established by the prime minister did not advance any affordable housing plans."
The right to water was also undermined when water rates soared without the establishment of special payment methods for the needy.
The report also addressed the public's right to protest noting that new regulations significantly limiting the freedom to protest were put in place in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
"Police are making the organization of protests more difficult and harming freedom of speech at demonstrations. They set illegal and unreasonable demands for organizers," the report read.
In the chapter dealing with asylum seekers, the report declared 2012 a record year in terms of incitement and violence. The report pointed to a line of "draconian" bills against asylum seekers as well as a law that allows unlimited administrative detention of infiltrators where there isn't sufficient evidence for an indictment.
The report further stated that the Interior Ministry "systematically refuses to recognize the existence of refugees." Out of 8,000 applications in the past two years the ministry recognized only one person as a refugee, the report said.
The right to privacy was also undermined according to the report, through a line of initiatives such as the biometric database pilot program and the increasing number of security cameras.
In the chapter dealing with Israel's policy in the territories, the report stated that "discrimination and separation between Palestinian residents and Israeli citizens are deepening...while a committee headed by Judge Edmond Levy discusses the normalization and suppression of the occupation."
The report further charged that Israel continued its policy of discrimination against Arab-Israelis in planning and construction as well as the "blind destruction of housing which ignores the state failures that have pushed Arabs into building without permits."
The report also touched upon the "exclusion of the Arabic language", the deprivation of east Jerusalem residents' rights, police brutality and interrogation of minors.