Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
30 September–18 October 2019
Item 6 (a) of the provisional agenda
Consideration of reports: reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant
List of issues in relation to the fourth periodic report of Israel
Replies of Israel to the list of issues*, **
[Date received: 12 August 2019]
Reply to question No. 1 of the list of issues
1.On January 27, 2019, the Work Safety Regulations (Construction Works) 5748-1988, aimed at increasing the safety in working on scaffolding, comprising one of the major risk factors in construction sites, were amended and entered into force. The Regulations are part of the Government’s response to a recent increase in the number of injuries and deaths in the construction field, in an attempt to stop and prevent such tragic events in the future.
2.On December 31, 2018, the Knesset legislated the Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Law (Temporary Provision) 5779-2018, which prohibits the consumption of sexual services. The Law was legislated as part of the ongoing efforts of the State to reduce prostitution and provide assistance and rehabilitation to persons in prostitution. For additional information, see Annex I.
3.On December 31, 2018, Amendment No. 209 to the National Insurance Law 1995-5755 was approved by the Knesset. According to this Amendment the payment for home-care services for persons with disabilities is transferred directly to the care provider or to the person him/herself, if he/she is living with another family member who is taking care of him/her. In cases in which no nursing services are available in the patient’s area of residence, the payment will be transferred directly to the patient, regardless if a family member lives with him/her. The Amendment also shortened the payment waiting period from 60 to 30 days.
4.In December 2018, the Knesset legislated the Installation of Cameras for the Protection of Toddlers in Day Care Centers Law 5768-2018. This Law aims to protect the safety of toddlers who are placed in day care centers by installing cameras, while preserving, to the extent possible, the dignity and privacy of the toddlers and the employees in these facilities. For additional information, see Annex I.
5.On October 29, 2018, Amendment 33 to the Compensation for Termination of Employment Law 1963-5723 entered into force. This Amendment provides additional protections to workers employed through manpower companies. For additional information, see Annex I.
6.On July 29, 2018 the Youth Employment (Prohibited and Restricted Employment) Regulations 5756-1995 were amended. The Regulations provide a list of types of work that are prohibited to employ youth. This Amendment adds an overall prohibition on employment of youth in construction work (including work at construction sites), except for cases where the youth is employed as part of an internship or professional training.
7.On February 12, 2018, Amendment No. 200 to the National Insurance Law was approved by the Knesset. It intends to gradually raise the general disability allowance by 2021. It will be linked to the increase in the average salary. All related benefits are intended to rise concurrently.
8.The Prohibition of Discrimination in Products, Services and Entry into Places of Entertainment and Public Places Law 5761-2000, was amended twice in 2017 (Amendments No. 4 and 5) In order to add “place of residence” and “wearing uniforms of security and rescue forces or their symbols” to reasons by which discrimination is prohibited. For additional information, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 2 of the list of issues
9.Non-application of the Covenant in the West Bank – according to Israel’s position, the Covenant is not applicable beyond a State’s national territory. For additional information see Second Periodic Report, p. 3–4.
10.Jerusalem – In accordance with Section 1 to Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel 1980-5740, Israeli law also applies to the Eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, as does the CESCR.
Reply to question No. 3 of the list of issues
11.See reply to question No. 2.
12.In accordance with Section 1 to the Golan Heights Law 1981- 5742, Israeli law applies to the Golan Heights. Accordingly, Israeli residents and citizens living in the Golan are entitled to the same rights as any other resident or citizen in all aspects of life, including access to land, housing, basic services and natural resources.
Reply to question No. 4 of the list of issues
13.National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI): For information on mechanisms for protection of human rights see Israel Core Document 2008 (HRI/CORE/ISR/2008) and as amended in 2014 (HRI/CORE/ISR/2015) (Article 2(IV)(A)(vi) to (xiii)). Additional mechanisms are listed below.
14.The Early Childhood Council – The Early Childhood Council Law 5777-2017, establishes an Early Childhood Council. It aims to further the care of infants and their physical and intellectual development, ensure their physical and mental health and the fulfillment of their educational, social, physical and emotional needs and to provide an appropriate environment. The Council has been established and operated under the direction of the Ministry of Education (MoE).
15.The Children’s and Youth Complaints Commission for Out-of-home Placed Children - the Children Foster Care Law 5776-2016 endeavors to address the rights of children in foster care and the duty of the State to ensure their best interests and rights. For additional information, see Annex I.
16.In recent years, the State Comptroller has been addressing Israel’s adherence to the various Human Rights Treaties, including the CESCR, in relation to NHRIs and the promotion and protection of human rights (the “Paris Principles”). For additional information, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 5 of the list of issues
17.Israeli Non-Governmental Organizations (“NGOs”) were invited to submit comments prior to the compilation of the Fourth Report, both through direct application, and a general invitation to submit remarks posted on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) website.
18.In recent years, a round table with various civil society organizations takes place, as part of a joint project that aims to improve cooperation between State authorities and civil society organizations, specifically relating to the reporting process to the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies. Unfortunately, due to various reasons a round table with civil society organizations was not held before the submission of this Fourth Report.See Annex I for more information.
Reply to question No. 6 of the list of issues
19.The business relations of the Government of Israel (GOI) with private companies are regulated through public procurement legislation. These laws include instructions meant to ensure the protection of the rights of workers employed by service providers of the State. For examples see Annex I.
20.Regarding the victims of violations committed by Israeli businesses abroad – this issue can be brought to the Israeli courts in accordance with the principles of private international law.
Reply to question No. 7 of the list of issues
21.Israel ratified the Paris Agreement in November 2016 and committed to reduce GHG emissions to 7.7 tons CO2e per capita by 2030, constituting a 26% reduction relative to 2005 per capita emissions of 10.4 tons CO2e. Additionally, an interim target of 8.8 tons CO2e per capita by 2025 was set. For Government further approved population-specific targets for 2030, and further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 8 of the list of issues
22.For Statistical information, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 9 of the list of issues
23.Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) is constantly working to enhance and expand development assistance and cooperation, especially with developing countries.
24.Every year MASHAV initiates workshops, seminars, courses and programs on several topics related to development that are attended by people from around the globe. Many of these initiatives promote the principles enshrined in the CESCR.
25.In line with OECD recommendations, good practice of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members and as a part of a concerted donor effort to combat the challenges associated with the proliferation and fragmentation of aid, MASHAV focuses its aid in areas in which Israel has special expertise: food security, agriculture and climate change.
26.For additional information see Annex I, and 4th Report (p. 3) and its Annex I (p. 5–6).
Reply to question No. 10 of the list of issues
27.The United Nations Convention against Corruption was signed by Israel on November 29, 2005 and ratified on February 4, 2009.
28.Israeli legislation sets out a comprehensive legal framework for the criminalization, prevention and eradication of corruption and corrupt practices. The Penal Law 1977-5737 includes various offences concerning corruption, including bribery of national and foreign public officials, fraud and breach of trust, and more.
29.The rule of law is a fundamental principle in Israel. Israel’s law enforcement agencies engage in an intensive campaign to strengthen the rule of law. They implement a zero tolerance approach towards corruption. The battle against corruption has been, and remains, a matter of high priority for the executive, legislative, and judicial organs in Israel. Public officials and private actors engaging in corrupt practices are prosecuted without consideration to their position or identity.
30.Regarding enforcement, the State Attorney’s Office (SAO) prioritized the fight against government corruption as a central goal. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 11 of the list of issues
31.Equality before the law and non-discrimination are basic principles of Israel’s legal system. For additional information see Israel Core Document of 2008 (HRI/CORE/ISR/2008) (Article 2(IV)(B)) and its update (HRI/CORE/ISR/2015) (Article 2(IV)(B)).
32.The above principles are a cornerstone of the Israeli legal system as apparent both in legislation and adjudication. Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty serves as a foundation for prohibiting discrimination and as a guiding principle for the creation of further laws promoting equality. Furthermore, all existing laws are to be interpreted in light of this Basic Law’s purposes in a manner which recognizes values such as human dignity and equality. Many laws emphasize the principle of equality in diverse aspects. Amending this Basic Law is currently not under consideration.
33.The judicial effort in this regard is guided by the Supreme Court, which plays a pivotal role in the promotion of the principle of equality and non-discrimination through the development of jurisprudence, strongly relaying on the principle of equality and non-discrimination as a constitutional principle, embodied in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
34.The State of Israel is committed, and invests great efforts, in the promotion and advancement of equality for all populations alike, including the Arab population, and concerning all spheres of life. As such, great efforts are also invested in fighting any form of discrimination.
35.For further information and case law see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 12 of the list of issues
36.On July 19, 2018, the Knesset legislated the Basic Law: Israel - National State of the Jewish People 5778-2018 (hereinafter: the “Basic Law”) by an absolute majority of 62 votes.
37.The purpose of this Basic Law is to enshrine in a Basic Law the character of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and the state in which the Jewish people uniquely exercise their right of self-determination. This Basic Law is an addition to the existing Basic Laws which enshrine other aspects of Israel’s core values, as described above, and which together make-up the identity of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state as established in its Declaration of Independence. According to the Israeli legal system, the Basic Law is of a constitutional nature, and as such it is formulated in a mostly declarative formulation.
38.The characteristics of the State of Israel as a Jewish state which can be found in this Basic Law include its existing name, flag, national anthem and other national symbols. Other features include Jerusalem as the capitol of the State, the Hebrew calendar as an official calendar and the Shabbat (Saturday) and Jewish holidays as official days of rest, while safeguarding rights of members of other religions to maintain their days of rest. The Basic Law also refers to Israel’s status as the national home of the Jewish people by promising the open admittance of Jewish immigration and affinity between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora.
39.In addition, the Basic Law sets the promotion and development of Jewish residences in the State as a national value, regarded as part of the continuing formation of a Jewish homeland in the State of Israel.
40.Furthermore, according to this Basic Law, the official language of the State of Israel is Hebrew, as the historic language of the Jewish people and in accordance with its modern revival. Arabic is granted a special status and its use in state institutions shall be set in law, and the special status previously given to Arabic shall be maintained. This, including the ongoing translation of the Government’s Ministries’ websites into Arabic by the Israeli Government, Arabic-speaking public schools, broadcasts in Arabic on Israel’s national television and radio and the parallel use of Arabic, Hebrew and English, on intercity and local road signs.
Petitions to the High Court of Justice (HCJ)
41.As of July 2019, 15 petitions were filed to the HCJ against the Basic Law: Israel National State of the Jewish People. Among the petitioners are three (3) Druze MKs of the Kulanu and Zionist Union Parties together with several Druze NGOs, the Meretz Party, the Baqa al-Gharbiyye municipality and the Joint List Party together with ‘Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel’. These petitions are currently pending before the Court.
Reply to question No. 13 of the list of issues
42.See Reply to question 4 above and further information below.
43.The Anti-Racism Coordination Unit – In August 2016, the Ministerial Committee for the Advancement of the Integration into the Israeli Society of Israeli Citizens of Ethiopian Origin, adopted the recommendations of an inter-ministerial team charged with forming an action plan to deal with racism against persons of Ethiopian origin, pursuant to Government Resolution (GR) No. 1107 (30.12.13), and decided to implement several steps, including the establishment of a new governmental unit within the MOJ - the Unit for the Coordination of the Fight Against Racism (the “Unit”). This decision received GR status on 19.8.16 (GR No. 1958). For information on the Unit’s work, see Annex I.
44.For information on the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) and case law, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 14 (a) of the list of issues
45.Bedouin population – There are more than 250,000 Bedouins living in the Negev desert area. About 76% of them live in urban and suburban centers which have been legally planned and constructed. The remaining 24% reside in hundreds of unauthorized and unregulated clusters, mainly within the Al-Qasoum and Neve Midbar regional authorities. The clusters, spread over roughly 500,000 dunams (500 Sq/Km), obstruct urban expansion in the greater Negev area and the common good of all Bedouin population.
46.Claims regarding ancestral land – Note that in all the legal proceedings held so far regarding ownership claims of Bedouins, the various courts specifically ruled that the lands in Reply to question are “Mawat” lands (see below) in which the Bedouins have no ownership rights.
47.Where the plaintiffs are residents of an unauthorized village, the State provides them with a free lot for residence and financial grants in order to regularize their residence. All in accordance to Decisions No. 1546 and No. 1574 of Israel Land Council. Furthermore, in accordance to GR No. 2397 (12.2.17) (see sub-Reply to question 14(c) below), the State is currently working on a further examination of the mechanism for resolution of the Bedouin ownership claims. The State does not ignore the ownership claims or the Bedouin culture and heritage, but rather, invests great efforts in planning localities and neighborhoods specifically for the benefit of the Bedouin population in the Negev.
48.For additional information, see sub-Reply to question 14 (b) below.
Reply to question No. 14 (b) of the list of issues
49.The Bedouin population arrived from the Arabian Peninsula, as nomads, whose main occupation was raising camels and flock. By the end of the British mandate there were approximately 90,000 Bedouins living throughout the then-Palestine.
50.The Bedouins do not adhere to the recognized definitions of indigenous people: A) the definition used by Joze Martinez Cobo in his comprehensive and well respected study from 1986; B) the definition from Section 1 of the International Labour Organization, Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 14 (c) of the list of issues
51.Several GR’s, include Resolutions No. 2397 (12.2.17), 1480 (2.6.16) and 922 (29.12.15), have sought to define five (5)year plans which direct substantial financial resources for the benefit of the Bedouin population and strengthening of Bedouin localities. For information on Resolution No. 2397, see Annex I. For details regarding Resolutions No. 1480, 922, and 2365, see Annex II to Israel’s 17–19th CERD Report (p. 38–40).
52.It is too early to draw conclusions about the implement of the abovementioned GR No. 2397 in light of the relatively short time period elapsed and the partial implementation of the various programs. For information on a survey regarding the impacts of the implementation of GR No. 2397, see sub-Reply to question 14 (h(, below. For additional information see sub-Reply to question 14(f) below.
Reply to question No. 14 (d) of the list of issues
53.Every statutory plan of a Bedouin neighborhood in Bedouin localities advanced by the Bedouin Authority for the planning and development is conducted with public cooperation. Social advisors, the architect of the planning committee, the district coordinator, the families residing on the designated lots and the Bedouins, meet to work together on the plan. In these meetings, preliminary sketches of the relevant program, planning alternatives including advanced sketching, meetings summaries etc. are presented to the participants. The meetings are regularly attended by representatives of the relevant local authority (the Authority’s engineer, the Authority’s Chairperson, and other officials). The Bedouin Authorities’ engineers take active part in the planning.
Reply to question No. 14 (e) of the list of issues
54.In the past few years, the GOI has taken significant steps to promote and integrate the Bedouin population into the labor market and in order to reduce the rate of poverty among this population. As part of the abovementioned Resolution No. 2397, roughly 190 Million NIS (51.4 Million USD) were allocated for the development of employment among the Bedouin population.
55.For further information regarding employment statistics, employment centers, professional training, projects to reduce unemployment, etc., see Annex I and 4th Report (p. 7) and its Annex I (p. 17–18).
Reply to question No. 14 (f) of the list of issues
56.The strategic work of examining and setting rules for the planning of construction solutions for the Bedouin population in the Negev has been undertaken and completed. For additional information, see 4th Report (p. 35).
57.The GOI is encouraging movement to regulated localities by providing unique financial benefits to all residents of the Bedouin Diaspora who seek such movement, regardless of their economic situation and independently of any entitlement test. These benefits include, inter alia, provision of land plots for free or for very low cost, and compensation for the demolition of unauthorized structures including construction grant. A large majority of those currently residing in unauthorized areas will be able to continue residing there in the future within regularized localities without the need to relocate anywhere else.
58.The Government’s current policy is to provide residence possibilities in recognized localities. This is done either by on-the-spot regulation of an existing unauthorized village, broadening the jurisdiction of a recognized village in near vicinity, or by encouraging relocation through offering financial and/or land incentives. Note that an unauthorized village with no acceptable planning prospects cannot be regulated. For more information, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 14 (g) of the list of issues
59.The Ministry of Transportation and Road Safety (MoTaRS) continues to promote the development of intra and inter-municipal transportation services as part of its general policy to promote public transportation accessibility to the general public, and specifically to the Arab and Bedouin populations. For detailed information on public transportation for the Bedouin population in the Negev, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 14 (h) of the list of issues
60.The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) carries out research and publishes statistical data on all aspects of Israeli life, including its population, society, economy, industry, education, etc. The work of the CBS is overseen by the Public Commission of Statistics. The data is disseminated in a wide variety of publications, including the Statistical Abstract of Israel. Note that additional bodies also collect and publish such statistical information such as the Ben-Gurion University’s center for research of the Bedouin population.
61.For the purpose of implementing GR No. 3708 (11.9.11), the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute conducted a research per the request of the Prime Minister’s Office. In this research socio-economic data was collected regarding the Bedouin population. Such data included demographic data, life expectance, infant mortality, educational achievements, employment, income and higher education. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoAaRD) is expected to request a similar research specifically regarding the impacts of the implementation of GR No. 2397. This survey is expected to include annual measurement of quality of life criteria of the Bedouin population. These criteria will be defined similarly to Better Life Index (BLI) criteria examined by the OECD and similarly to the criteria that is examined in regard to all of Israel population.
Reply to question No. 15 (a) of the list of issues
62.The State of Israel has been facing a very large number, respective to its size, of asylum applications. Since 2009, approximately 70,000 applications were submitted. Notwithstanding the large number of outstanding applications (36,967, as of June 2019), many of them from East Europe, the Population and Immigration Authority (PIA) is working to improve the services provided and to shorten the waiting time for processing the applications.
63.Most of the asylum applications, excluding those submitted by Ukrainian and Georgian nationals, are submitted in the PIA’s branch in the city of Bnei Brak, geared towards receiving large audiences. There is also a computerized system for setting appointments which shortens the waiting time. As a result, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa unit is now able to invest more time in reviewing asylum applications and advancing the process.
64.Notwithstanding the overload, there have been some important developments in this field. In just a year and a half, 800 asylum seekers from Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile received temporary residency (A/5) visas on humanitarian grounds (in addition to previous 600 recipients). This visa grants the recipient social rights, national health insurance and the right to work.
65.Regarding asylum seekers from Eritrea, the Attorney General has requested the formation of new guidelines which will clarify the requirements regarding the examination of Eritrean nationals’ asylum applications. This issue is currently under review in the Jerusalem District Court (12154-04-18 The Minister of Interior v. Masagna).
Reply to question No. 15 (b) of the list of issues
66.See 4th Report, p. 23–24 and its Annex I, p. 39.
67.Inter-Ministerial Committee Reviewing the Social RightsGranted to Migrants Who may not be Returned to their Countries of Origin: In August 2017, an Inter-Ministerial Committee reviewing the social rights granted in Israel to migrants who may not be returned to their countries of origin was established, at the request of the Attorney General. The Inter-ministerial Committee headed by the DG of PIA, included representatives of the relevant Ministries: The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services (MoLSAaSS), The Ministry of Health (MoH), MoJ, The Ministry of Interior (MoI), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ministry of Construction and Housing. The Committee’s main purpose was to examine the possibility of providing social, welfare and health services to migrants who may not be returned to their countries of origin.
68.In July 2018, the Committee submitted its recommendations to the Ministers of LSAaSSand of Interior for examination. On February 28, 2019, the Minister of LSAaSS adopted the recommendations of the Committee concerning his Ministry. As part of this decision, the Minister ordered a partial provision of welfare services to migrants who may not be returned to their countries of origin in need of out-of-home placements: victims of domestic violence, persons with disabilities and persons in street situations. The budget to be allocated for this is 36 Million NIS (10 Million USD) (out of which 20 Million NIS (5.5 Million USD) is allocated to the MoLSAaSS). As part of these services, a special program was set up in order to provide various welfare services for child migrants at risk who may not be returned to their countries of origin.
69.A petition on this issue was filed to the HCJ and is pending (H.C.J. 8907/16 Assaf - Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel v. The Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services).In March 2019, the Government informed the HCJ that the Minister of LSAaSS agrees to the Inter-Ministerial Committee’s recommendations to allocate funds (approx. 30 Million NIS (8.33 Million USD)) to secure social rights for certain groups of migrants who may not be returned to their countries of origin. Most recently (July 2019), the Government informed the HCJ that it is looking into alternatives for purchasing a designated health insurance for migrants who may not be returned to their countries of origin, i.e., purchasing existing insurance packages for them or providing them with medical services through a different arrangement.
Reply to question No. 15 (c) of the list of issues
70.On November 1th, 2018 The Foreign Workers Regulations (Types of Cases and Conditions under which a Foreign Worker who Entered Israel Illegally is entitled to Receive the Deposit Money Prior to the Date of Leaving Israel not for a Temporary Exit) 5768 - 2018 entered into force. They allow a reduced deposit rate for such persons as humanitarian considerations demand so. The following are obligated to deposit only 6% of their net salary as oppose to 20%: a minor; elderlies over the age of 60; women; a father of a minor who is in his sole custody due to the mother’s medical condition, or the mother’s death or lack of residence in Israel; physical and mental health problems which require such reduction; and a victim of human trafficking.
71.Furthermore, the PIA is working to reimburse those who would have qualified for the reduced deposit, although the regulations were legislated 18 months following the legislation of the law and applied retroactively. The Law is currently under judicial review in the H.C.J. 2293/17 Garsgher et. al. v. The Knesset. The petitioners have requested the Court three (3) times for a provisional measure limiting the application of the law, and have been denied repeatedly.
Reply to question No. 15 (d) of the list of issues
72.Israel had reached arrangements with two (2) third countries for the safe relocation of persons from Sudan and Eritrea who entered Israel through the Egyptian border illegally. As the Government considered this plan a more appropriate way to deal with the situation, due to the unique circumstances that Israel is facing and the geo-political context in the Middle East.
73.Ultimately, for various reasons, the arrangements were not fully implemented. Anyone who wishes to leave Israel voluntarily to these countries can still do so with State assistance according to these arrangements. Based on routine exams conducted by PIA, there have been no known cases of violations of the principle of non-refoulement. For additional information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 16 of the list of issues
74.Israel operates to improve women’s representation in all spheres. For information on specific fields, see Israel’s 6th Periodic Report to the CEDAW committee and Annex I.
Reply to question No. 17 (a) of the list of issues
75.The total rate of the Arab population’s participation in the Labor market has been increasing steadily in recent years; this is especially evident in regards to Arab women. Respectively, the total unemployment rate of the Arab population is slowly but steadily decreasing. This is true in regards to both genders. Note that according to figures of the MoF, the increase in the employment rate of Bedouin women between 2000 and 2016 was the highest increase of all populations – from 11% in 2000 to 32% in 2016, and this figure continues to rise.
76.This is a clear indication to the positive impact of the measures taken by the State for the integration of all populations and both genders in the labor market.
Reply to question No. 17(b) of the list of issues
77.For information on this issue, see Israel Initial Report concerning the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWD), p. 69–71.
78.For data regarding employment of PWD and data regarding the degree of compliance with adequate representation requirement, and the measures taken in this issue see Annex I. For additional information see Annexes I and II to the 4th Report.
Reply to question No. 17 (c) of the list of issues
79.One of the main issues promoted by the EEOC is employment diversity. In 2017, the EEOC began a program for the implementation of diversity employment while focusing on five (5) populations, including the Arab population. Within the framework of this project, the EEOC guides the partner companies, together with an advisor on its behalf, in thorough processes starting from getting the management staff on board, and ending in implementing a long-term plan with clear qualitative goals. This close partnership with the EEOC continues for 18 months and then, after setting future goals and activities, the companies proceed with this process on their own. The EEOC receives a progress report every six (6) months, and assists when a concrete need for its involvement arises. For further information, see Annex I.
80.In regards to non-Jewish PWD, all of the activities carried out by the EEOC are also been carried out in the Arab population (publications, promotion and enforcement activities, etc.). Special activities were also organized, including meetings and lectures for PWD and their families in the Arab population, and meetings with five (5) Arab local authorities regarding the employment of PWD.
Reply to question No. 17 (d) of the list of issues
81.For statistical information See Annex I.
Reply to question No. 18 (a) of the list of issues
82.The State of Israel is committed to reducing pay gaps among different populations in society, and reducing gender pay gaps in particular.
83.For prominent projects from recent years, see: Israel 6th Report to the CEDAW committee, p. 44–67 and it’s Annex I p. 43–47, and the 4th Report, p. 9–10, and its Annex I, p. 25–27. For information on Contemporary efforts to reduce gender pay gaps – see Annex I.
Recent data regarding gender pay gaps, disaggregated by sector
84.The Business Diversity Index, developed by the EOC, the CBS and the Tel Aviv University, is a measuring tool that enables to indicate the level of diversity among employees in the private sector. The calculation is based on both representation and equal salary. It focuses on five (5) groups of population: women, Arabs, Israeli citizens of Ethiopian descent, people above the age of 45, and ultra-Orthodox citizens. For the prominent findings which were published in the 3rd Diversity Report, February 2018, see Annex I.
Civil Service (CS)
85.In 2017 the gender pay-gap for the average civil servant was 15%, and in the general population 31%. One of the reasons for this disparity is that the work in the CS, as well as the worker’s pay, is not determined by a negotiation between the worker and the employer before employment. Thus, the pay gap is significantly lower in comparison to the private market.
86.As with the Diversity Index data mentioned above, the pay gap within the CS is a result of a different composition of men and women on different hierarchy levels, and accordingly a different pay for each position.
87.Gender analysis of the CS employees indicates that 62% of the employees are women and 38% are men. These numbers vary when considering minority populations. Within the Arab population, 43% are women and 57% are men. A gender analysis of employees of Ethiopian descent indicates 59% are women and 41% are men.
Reply to question No. 18 (b) of the list of issues
88.Minimum wage – see 4th Report, p. 74–75.
89.Enforcement – see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 18 (c) of the list of issues
90.In the Tab’ouni case before the HCJ (1889/18) the Court addressed taxation issues related to employment of 10,000 Palestinians residing in Israel and the Eastern Neighbourhoods of Jerusalem (ENoJ) by way of temporary staying permits or B/1 visas provided by family reunification procedures. According to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Provision), These Palestinians were considered on certain matters as foreign workers based on the definitions in the relevant statute, which according to the petitioners, has negative implications to their ability to work and earn a living in Israel. The petition focused on foreign worker levy (a sum of 15–20% of the worker’s salary) andreduced tax credits.
91.Following this petition, Israel re-examined its legal position, and determined that the relevant statute can be interpreted so employers of these workers will be exempt from paying the foreign workers levy. Moreover, it was determined that the legislation also allows these workers to be entitled to tax credits, as Israeli residents are. On March 3, 2019, the State and the petitioners submitted a joint request to dismiss the case since the two (2) main issues of the petitions were resolved and the remaining issues will be examined separately, while saving their legal claims (H.C.J. 1889/18 Tab’ouni et. al. v. The Services to Employers and Foreign Workers Branch, The PIA, MoI et. al. (4.3.18)).
Reply to question No. 19 (a) of the list of issues
92.The Administration for Regulation and Enforcement of labor laws in the MoLSAaSS, is responsible on the enforcement of the Hours of Work and Rest Law 5711-1951 and the Wage Protection Law 5718-1958. No special activity was carried out in recent years by this Administration regarding specifically foreign women workers providing live-in nursing-care. However, legal information regarding the rights of foreign workers live-in caregivers is being regularly transferred by the Administration to employers in this field, including information about their rights according the law and the main verdicts in this subject. For further information see Annex I.
93.The Reply to question of enforcement of the Hours of Work and Rest Law 1951-5711 has been addressed several times by the HCJ, for additional information, see Annex III to the 4th Report (p. 14).
Reply to question No. 19 (b) of the list of issues
94.According to applications received by the relevant authorities, it is evident that the vast majority of foreign workers in Israel prefer to be employed in the central cities and not in peripheral areas. In order to strike a balance between the right of the workers not to be dependent on one employer, and the rights of persons with disabilities to remain in their home or place of residence while receiving care, several decisions have been adopted in recent years. For additional information See Annex I.
Reply to question No. 19 (c) of the list of issues
95.On December 17, 2018, the HCJ dismissed a petition regarding the illegal high recruitment fees foreign workers were required to pay in order to work in Israel. Due to the high significance of this issue, during the proceedings, which lasted for 12 years, the GOI has ratified a number of bilateral agreements regarding the recruitment of foreign workers. The Court found that such agreements, alongside other measures, are effective in combatting the high illegal recruitment fees. (H.C.J. 2405/06 Kav LaOved v. The Ministry of Economy (17.12.18)). For further information, see Annex I.
96.GR No. 1321 (24.3.16) aimed to bring foreign construction companies to Israel with their foreign workers, included a number of provisions designed to protect workers’ rights, and to prevent them from paying exuberant mediation fees. This GR was petitioned to the HCJ that found the mechanisms provided by the State are sufficient to protect the workers and dismissed the case (H.C.J. 2385/16 Histadrut v. The Government of Israel).
97.Additionally, The PIA’s procedures include general instructions and means of overview on the foreign worker which remain relevant even if there is no bilateral agreement. Workers may refer to any of the relevant authorities in Israel, including the Ombudswoman for Workers Rights.
98.For information about the MoLSAaSS’s enforcement division, see sub-Reply to question (a) above. For addition information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 19 (d) of the list of issues
99.For information on such mechanisms, see sub-Reply to question (a) above. In addition, foreign workers may apply or file complaints to the Ombudswoman for Foreign Workers’ Rights or apply to the designated hotline. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 20 of the list of issues
100.According to the General Federation of Laborers in Israel’s (the “Histadrut”, the largest Representative workers Union in Israel) constitution, any worker over the age of 18, who is a civilian or resident or migrant worker who is lawfully employed in Israel, and which undertakes to accept the Histadrut Constitution, its principles and the decisions of its institutions, may become a member of the Histadrut. So long as the Palestinian workers are working legally in Israel, there is nothing that prevents them from joining the Histadrut. The Histadrut’s Tel Aviv-Jaffa District established a department for foreign workers that serve as a center for assistance and professional protection for this community.
101.In June 2008, the Histadrut and the Palestinian Labors Union (PGFTU) signed a historic agreement that regulated all the financial disputes between them. In this frame, the Histadrut took upon itself to assist Palestinian workers who are legally employed by Israeli employers in several fields, including the provision of legal aid and assistance in improving their employment rights. The Histadrut’s international relation department is working with the PGFTU in planning joint seminars for the promotion of Palestinian employment rights.
102.Palestinian workers legally employed in Israel in the construction field are entitled to legal aid in adjudicatory committees in order to discuss their employment legal claims and assistance in promoting their employment rights.
103.In regard to the right to strike, see 4th Report (Article 8), p. 14.
104.Regardingthe H.C.J. 5027/17 Forum for Private Electricity Producers from Natural Gas et. al v. The National Labour Court et. al. (4.7.18) – The Court adopted the agreement between the parties in HCJ 5037/17 (Israel’s Electric Corporation and the General Federation Union (the ‘Histadrut’)) as an obligatory judgement. The additional petition of the private electricity producers (HCJ 5027/17) was deemed theoretical and struck out by the Court. Therefore, this ruling is void of practical implication on the right to strike. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 21 of the list of issues
105.For information on pensions and benefits and regarding periodic review of these benefits, see 4th Report (p. 15–17, 35–36 and its Annex I, p. 30–39, 45, 75).
106.Regarding the insurance provided to the populations numerated in sub-sections (a)–(c) – National Insurance Law and the National Health Insurance Law apply to Israeli residents. The NII does not examine one’s nationality in order to determine what rights they are entitled to, the important criteria is residency in Israel. Section 2 of the National Insurance Law defines who is not considered a resident in this regard.
107.Regarding persons who are employed in Israel but are not citizens or residents (mostly foreign workers): see Annex I of Israel’s 4th Report (p. 38–39).
108.Palestinian workers residing in Israel with their families with temporary stay permits are entitled to certain social security rights according to the National Insurance Law and the National Health Insurance Law. A Palestinian’s partner will not be eligible for any individual benefits excepts in fields in which workers are entitled to: insurance for work related injury, maternity insurance and bankruptcy insurance. For further information see 4th Report (p. 34 and 17).
109.In relation to non-Israeli workers with permanent residency permits – Generally, permanent residences are entitled to rights that are almost equal to those of citizens (excluding an Israeli Passport, the right to vote in national elections etc.).
Expiration and Revocation of Residency
110.According to the Entry into Israel Regulations 5734-1974, permanent residency expires when the person leaves Israel for a period longer than seven (7) years or acquires citizenship or residency in another country. Expiration of residency is relevant only with regard to residence abroad for a period longer than seven (7) years, rather than a temporary stay abroad, as required, for example, in order to participate in academic studies. Since the year 2000, the policy regarding permanent residents of the ENoJ that resided outside Israel includes: 1) the residency will not be revoked if the person has kept an affinity to Israel; or 2) If certain conditions are met, a person who keeps an affinity to Israel, despite of his/her life abroad, and lived in Israel for two (2) consecutive years will keep his/her residency. For further information, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 22 (a) of the list of issues
111.The government bill, regarding the Capacity and Guardianship (Amendment - Change of the Tender Years Presumption) mentioned in the 4th Report, was rejected. In the 20th Knesset a new private bill was submitted. After some changes and procedures, in coordination with the MoJ, the bill passed its first reading in the Knesset (the Capacity and Guardianship Bill (Amendment - Change of the Tender Years Presumption) 5768 – 2018). The Knesset was dispersed before the legislation was finalized. It is not clear whether the legislation procedures will continue in the upcoming Knesset. For further information, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 22 (b) of the list of issues
112.See 4th Report, Annex I (p. 42–43).
113.So far, there has been one (1) conviction under the newSAO Guidelines. Additionally, a new position was designated in SAO, to provide guidance for prosecutors in cases which fall under the Guidelines. See Annex I for further information.
114.In the recent years the Rabbinical Courts adhere to the timetable provided in the Rabbinical Courts Law (Implementation of Divorce Judgments) 5755-1955. In most of the cases that a divorce was not granted by the required date that was decided in court, the Court held discussions on granting restriction orders or granted such orders based on previous discussions of the case. In 2018, 156 restriction orders were granted. Similar numbers of orders was issued also in the previous years since the amendment was passed.
Reply to question No. 22 (c) of the list of issues
115.The Guardianship and Legal Capacity Law 5772 - 1962 grants a child’s parents custody and guardianship. The same law states that a court may deny or limit parents’ guardianship if they do not fulfil their obligations to their children within reason (Sections 26–27). Under such circumstances, the Court is authorized to appoint a guardian for the child in place of or in addition to his/her parents. Removal of a child from his/her parent’s custody and restriction of parental custody are regulated in detail by the Youth (Care and Supervision) Law 5720-1960, which supplements the Guardianship and Legal Capacity Law. In cases specified by the Law it is possible to remove the child from the custody of his/her parents or guardians and transfer him/her to the custody of the welfare services, which will decide where the child will reside or instruct that he/she be kept in an institution or secure facility (Section 3(4) of the Youth Law). For statistical information see Annex I .
116.The situation of these children is supervised according to the Children Foster Care Law 5776-2016 and the Children’s and Youth Complaints Commission for out-of-home placed children that operate in accordance with Section 56 of the Law. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 22 (d) of the list of issues
117.See 4th Report, p. 19, and Annex 3 of the Report p. 21 – 22. In addition, the former Minister of Justice appointed a team of economists to re-examine the calculation of costs of raising a child in Israel. Nowadays, the MoJ is working on a new bill in order to avoid the legal ambiguity in this subject, especially after the Supreme Court’s decision in Re.Ad.Ap. 919/15 Anonymous v Anonymous (19.7.17) mentioned in the 4th Report. For data regarding exit orders see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 22 (e) of the list of issues
118.The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Provision) 5763-2003 was extended several times. Due to the Knesset’s dispersal, the law was further extended automatically until December 17, 2019. For further information and relevant Statistics, see 4th Report p. 18–19, and Annex I.
Reply to question No. 23 of the list of issues
119.Regarding Non-application of the Covenant in the West Bank see Reply to question No. 2.
120.Privatization of social services – The MoLSAaSS did not privatize its social services. Services operated by associations and companies are operated in the form of outsourcing, in which organizations operate the services according to MoLSAaSS tenders, while the referrals, the budget and the supervision remain under the Ministry’s responsibility. As part of the structural reform of the Ministry, the Supervision and Control Department was established. Its purpose is to ensure that the Ministry’s supervision is carried out according to proper standards, and to strengthen the level of supervision of outsourced services, including sanctions.
121.Social workers in the community are employees of the local authorities who refer to the out-of-home frameworks. The employment of social workers in the community has not been privatized.
Reply to question No. 24 (a) of the list of issues
122.Ensuring the supply of safe water in adequate quantities is part of the overarching goal of Israel’s water economy. It is achieved in various ways, including by sustainable, long-term planning and development of water infrastructure and economic regulation which sets cost-based.
123.Following a continuous analysis process, the Water Authority has improved its policy guiding decisions regarding the provision of services. Notably, the policy of the Sewage Infrastructure Development Administration is aimed to unite sewage treatment plants and shut down smaller, less advanced and land-consuming facilities.
124.Israel’s actions regarding water supply is aimed at conclusion of water connection country-wide, and increasing the reliability and availability of the water supply.
125.For further information see 4th Report, p. 29–30, and its Annex I p. 66–70. For information regarding drinking water projects see Annex I. Regarding Area C of the West Bank see Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 24 (b) of the list of issues
126.For additional information, see Israel’s 3rd Periodic Report (p. 162–163).
127.Following a pilot program that began in 2014 by the Water Authority, in 2017, the GOI began implementing water provision through direct private water connections to the main water pipeline, through individual water meters. This solution provides a wider answer to water consumers and also detached the previous dependency on “water centers” and group connections. The new direct connections will also reduce the water prices significantly, corresponding with country-wide rates, except for explicit costs. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 24 (c) of the list of issues
128.See 4th Report, p. 43.
129.As mentioned above, in the permanent Bedouin towns there are regulated water and sewage systems, built according to the same criteria applied nationwide. In addition, all the new Bedouin towns that are in the process of planning and development and those under statutory approval procedures are planned with water and sewage systems with the same quality level and criteria as in other populations. In addition, in the previously mentioned direct connections which provide services to the Bedouin population who live outside the permanent towns, there is a temporary sewage system operated by the El-Kasum and Neve-Midbar Regional Councils, without causing environmental damage.
130.A mechanism for financing collector lines and sewage infrastructures and end solutions in the Bedouin localities, at the cost of 40 Million NIS (approx. 11.1 Million USD) has been approved.
Reply to question No. 25 (a), (b) of the list of issues
131.See Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 25 (c) of the list of issues
132.For general information on illegal structures in the ENoJ, see 4th Report (p. 34–35) and Annex I.
133.Regarding Area C of the West Bank see Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 25 (d) of the list of issues
134.Planning in the ENoJ – The new outline plan for the city of Jerusalem, which is currently under approval procedures, determines the planning policy in all of the city’s neighborhoods and jurisdictions areas. For additional information, including regarding construction permits see Annex I.
135.Regarding Area C of the West Bank see Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 25 (e) of the list of issues
136.See Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 25 (f) of the list of issues
137.GR No. 4078 (29.7.18), entitled “Emergency plan in the field of public housing”, established inter-ministerial team in order to form and recommend on an action plan for the expansion on the number of apartments intended for public housing. The team did not publish any recommendations yet.
138.It is still early to try and predict the impact of the measures taken on the recipients of public housing and the private rental market. For statistic information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 26 of the list of issues
139.Section 6b(b)(1) of the Status of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for the Land of Israel Law 1952-5713 states that the GOI, with the consent of the WZO, is entitled to delegate some of its authorities regarding housing and certain other issues to the WZO via the Rural Growth and Development Division (the: “Division”). The Section specifies that agreements between the Division and the State will include mechanisms for supervision and control, taking into consideration the unique roles of the Division.
140.In GR No. 1998 (9.10.16), After criticism raised regarding of the Division’s conduct on behalf of various parties, the Government regulated the Division’s work, delegated certain Government responsibilities to the Division and established a detailed mechanism for reviewing the Division’s activities. It further included the establishment of a professional unit in the MoAaRDwhich supervises the Division work, and approves its yearly plan, with the assistance of professionals and legal advisors. Additionally, the Division’s financial support committee includes representation of CS employees.
141.Following a petition to the HCJ, the Court reviewed these delegation arrangements and approved them (H.C.J. 9518/16 Harel v. The Knesset (5.9.17)). Regarding the supervision of the Division, the Court found that “the governmental authority is fully committed to meticulously applying the review and supervision mechanisms, in order to protect the public interest. Accordingly, since the Division has had authority delegated to it, it is subject to the review and supervision mechanisms set in the delegation agreements. The Division is forbidden from exceeding the set authorities delegated to it”.
Reply to question No. 27 (a) of the list of issues
142.See 4th Report (Article 11. p. 27–29), its Annex I (p. 61–62) and its Annex II (p. 26).
Reply to question No. 27 (b) to (e) of the list of issues
143.See Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 28 (a) of the list of issues
144.In 2017, the public expenditure allocated for health was 62.9% of the sum total national expenses on health. This rate is lower than the average rate in the OECD, which is 74%. However, the Government is taking a variety of steps to minimize this gap. For additional information, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 28 (b) of the list of issues
145.This issue was elaborated in the 4th Report (p. 35–48). In addition, see reply to sub-Reply to question (a) above.
Reply to question No. 28 (c) of the list of issues
146.The MoH is working to achieve a more just and equal distribution of medical services, both by preserving and developing the existing medical professionals, and by promoting new programs to ensure accessibility and quality healthcare services. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 28 (d) of the list of issues
147.Measures taken pursuant to HCJ Ruling H.C.J. 1105/06–See 4th Report, Annex I (p. 75).
148.For enforcement measures regarding non-compliance to provide medical insurance for foreign workers in the nursing care field, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 28 (e) of the list of issues
149.Pursuant to the abovementioned GR No. 1107, the MoH established an inter-ministerial committee for the formation of a government plan to combat racism. In December 2016, following the work of the committee headed by the MoH, the Director General (DG) of the Ministry appointed a Committee for the prevention of racism, discrimination and exclusion in the healthcare system, with the purpose of identifying the challenges in this field and their underlying causes, as well as recommending measures for their elimination. For further information, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 28 (f) of the list of issues
150.This issue was discussed in the 4th Report (p. 36, 39) and its Annex I (p. 75, 79–80).
151.Health insurance for children of migrants and foreign workers under the age of 18 and unaccompanied minors – parents are entitled to purchase healthcare insurance for their children (under the age of eighteen (18)) in ‘Meuhedet’ HMO, with a cost of 120 NIS (32.5 USD) per month for the first and second child. The MoH subsidizes the insurance by additional 160 NIS (43 USD) per month. From the third child onwards, the MoH pays the full monthly premium for that child. The insured children are eligible to full service basket, similar to Israeli residents, except for the eligibility for treatments abroad. Nearly 80% of the children of this population are insured. As of June 13, 2018, 8,118 previously uninsured children were registered for the ‘Meuhedet’ health insurance.
152.Maternity insurance – A female foreign worker or the wife of a foreign worker employed in Israel is entitled to a hospitalization grant (a grant paid to the hospital where the birth occurred to cover hospitalization costs) and a birth grant (financed by the NII). These allowances are paid even if the mother is unemployed. The insurance terms are similar to those of Israeli residents, with two (2) additional provisions: that the birth took place in Israel and that the mother or her spouse have at least six (6) consecutive months of employment in Israel (Section 40(a)(2) of the National Insurance Law). A female foreign worker who has been employed for the minimum period in Israel is also entitled to maternity allowance, under similar terms to those required of an Israeli resident.
Reply to question No. 28 (g) of the list of issues
153.GR No. 1091 (22.12.13) recognized battling suicide as a national concern, and established a plan to counter it headed by the Moh, and established a designated unit. The Unit focuses on prevention, identification and treatment. It trains the relevant professionals who come in contact with populations at-risk; conduct research; assists people at-risk via a hot-line available in several languages; created anti-suicide campaign in four (4) languages; assists families who lost members to suicide. Additionally, the Unit works to limit access to lethal methods such as medication, dangerous buildings and weapons. The work of the Unit has brought about a decrease of twenty percent (20%) in the number of suicides within ten (10) years. For additional information see Annex I.
154.The MoE is also very active in battling suicide, and operates diverse programs in local authorities selected by the MoH. Over the past decade there has been a decrease in the suicide rate among youth in Israel between the ages of 15–24: a decrease of 51% among boys and 43% among girls.
Reply to question No. 28 (h) of the list of issues
155.The law regarding clinical trials on human beings is the Nation’s Health Regulations (Medical Experiments on Human Beings) 1980-5741 was not amended since 1999.
Reply to question No. 29 of the list of issues
156.See Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 30 (a) of the list of issues
157.See Israel’s Core Document of 2008 (Article 2V(B), p. 70) and as amended in 2014 (Article 2V(B), p. 38), the 4th Report (Article 13, p. 48), and its Annex I (Article 13, p. 97–99), Israel’s 17th–19th Periodic Report concerning the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Article 7, p. 45).
Reply to question No. 30 (b) of the list of issues
158.On July 2, 2018, Amendment No. 11 to the Special Education Law 5758-1998 entered into force, as part of a large-scale reform in the special education system. The Amendment updates the scope of the authority granted to the local placement committees. According to the amended Law, the pupil’s parents, after receiving all the relevant information, shall decide whether their child will be enrolled as a pupil in a general educational institution, or in an institution for special education. The placement committee has discretion to decide otherwise, in cases where there is substantial risk that the decision of the child’s parents may severely harm his/her or others’ wellbeing. If no preference was expressed by the parents, priority should be given to placing the child in a general educational system. Furthermore, the Law as amended stipulates explicitly and transparently the type of services to which the pupil with disabilities is entitled. Such services are provided based, inter alia, on the pupil’s cognitive, emotional, lingual and social abilities.
159.In July 2018, the Equal Rights Regulations (Individual Access Adjustments for Parent and Child) 5768-2018 entered into force. These Regulations determine accessibility adjustments that pupils with disabilities are entitled to, and stipulates the educational institutions’ obligations to perform them. For additional information and statistical data see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 30 (c) of the list of issues
160.This Issue was discussed in the 4th Report (Article 13, p. 57–58) and its Annex I (p. 101, 112–113).
Reply to question No. 30 (d) of the list of issues
161.See 4th Report (Article 13, p. 48–51), and its Annex I, p. (99–101).
162.The Day-Care Department at the MoLSAaSS supervises recognized and subsidized frameworks for children of childbirth up to the age of three (3) years and works to integrate parents into the labor market by subsidizing the children’s stay in accordance with their employment and income tests. These frameworks include approximately 2,200 day care centers and 3,700 family homes, however only about 25% of the children in the ages of 0–3 are placed in these supervised frameworks due to the small number of such frameworks.
163.Over the last three (3) years, the Day Care Department has invested more than one (1) Billion NIS (277 Million USD) in local authorities to finance the construction of day care centers (for example in the Arab population, the ultra-Orthodox population, etc.). Thus far, 300 day-care centers were established.
Reply to question No. 30 (e) of the list of issues
164.According to recent assessments there are around 85 such unsupervised private kindergartens in Tel-Aviv Jaffa, a decrease of about 100 from previous assessments. Approximately, 1,800 infants and toddlers attend these kindergartens until 15:00, while in the afternoon several hundreds children over the age of three (3) join them. Following GR No. 2487 (8.4.15) additional childcare support services are provided in Tel Aviv-Jaffa for infants and toddlers of parents without legal statusin Israel. The Government allocated a budget of 14 Million NIS (3.8 Million USD) per year for four (4) years (April 2015–March 2019) for this purpose. This GR also set standards for operating the daycare centers and stipulates MoLSAaSS supervision over them.
165.As of 2018, approximately 700 infants and toddlers of parents without legal status in Israel are enrolled in daycare centers operated by non-profit organizations, which receive funding from the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality pursuant to abovementioned GR No. 2487. The social services department in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, “Mesila”, also provides a number of afterschool facilities for children and operates parenting programs. The current assessment is that these efforts will enable approximately 1,100 infants and toddlers to attend appropriate facilities.
166.For information on social rights of children asylum seekers, see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 30 (f) of the list of issues
167.In February 2018, the Jerusalem Municipality published a multi-annual operative plan for reducing the classroom gaps in Jerusalem during the next five (5)-year term, following the decision in H.C.J. 6183/16 Parents’ Organization for the Education System et. al. v. The Ministry of Education et. al. (pending). This program presents the classroom construction data in the Jerusalem Municipality, the unique challenges in building classrooms in Jerusalem, the actions required for lessening the shortage in classrooms, including budget and increasing efficiency of governmental and municipal processes. The goal of the Jerusalem Municipality five (5)-years program for 2018–2022 is to add approximately 5,000 classrooms and kindergartens to the exiting classes in Jerusalem, almost half of them in the ENoJ (for the Arab population in Jerusalem (2,350 classes)). The total program budget is approximately 9,015 Billion NIS (2,516 Billion USD) (excluding existing budgetary designations at a sum of 400 Million NIS )111.6 Million USD(). The program’s implementation is carried out in cooperation with the relevant Ministries, while allocating the required budgets, removing barriers and making the whole process more efficient. In addition, the MoE has informed the Supreme Court that the criterion for the allocation of the construction budget to municipalities has been amended to address the need in further classrooms country-wide.
168.In addition, GR No. 3790 (13.4.18) on the mitigation of the social and economic gaps and economic development of ENoJ was adopted. This Resolution also addresses the education system in the ENoJ and established a sub-committee on education headed by the MoE DG, charged with forming a plan to advance the education system. The goals set for the advancement of education in the ENoJ include: strengthening the Hebrew knowledge among pupils, advancing technological knowledge, broadening the non-formal sectors of education and creating incentives for assuming the Israeli education program. The educational plan that shall be formulated by the sub-committee, in accordance with this Resolution, shall set the goals of each educational institution, based on their unique characteristics.
169.As of July 2019, there is a shortage of 4,000 classrooms and kindergartens in Jerusalem, for all the city’s populations, 2,000 of which are required in the ENoJ. This is a result of an increase in the number of children, the demand for education frameworks and decades of under-budgeting this issue.
170.Aimed at dealing with the immediate problem, the municipality rented 850 classrooms all over the city with an estimated cost of 50 Million NIS (13.9 Million USD). An additional 1,000 classes are in planning and construction stages and land required for additional 400 classes is in the process of expropriation. As part of this plan regular meeting are held between the municipality and senior officials, including the MoE DG.
171.Temporary solutions are provided where needed, including adding transportation to existing schools, renting buildings and “evening schools”. In the years 2011–2015, approximately 20 Million NIS (5.6 Million USD) were allocated for the renting of 255 classrooms.
172.For information on classroom gaps in the ENoJ, the plans predicted goals and more, see Annex I. For additional information on education in the ENoJ, see 4th Report. Annex I (p. 100–103).
Reply to question No. 30 (g), (h) of the list of issues
173.See Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 31 (a) of the list of issues
174.See Reply to question No. 2 above.
Reply to question No. 31 (b) of the list of issues
175.For information on promotion of culture and heritage see 4th Report, p. 58–61.
176.The Ministry of Culture and Sport (MoCS) supports various organizations working to preserve the heritage of the Jewry of Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Cochin and a number of other Jewish communities. This is done by conducting research, lectures and conferences and musical, dance and theater productions.
177.The Ministry supports the Council for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites. In the Council there is a division charged with preserving historically significant buildings to different populations, including Arabs, Circassians and others. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 31 (c) of the list of issues
178.For information on the status of the Arabic language, see Israel 3rd and 4th Report, and Reply to question No. 12 Above.
179.The MoCS funds a series of corporations lawfully mandated to promote languages, cultures and heritages of the various populations living in Israel. For further information see Annex I.
Reply to question No. 31 (d) of the list of issues
180.Cooperation in the field of Culture – Israel currently has 100 bilateral agreements as well as 40 cooperation programs in the fields of culture and education with countries in Europe, Asia, Eurasia, Africa and Latin America. These cultural cooperation agreements span over many sub-categories such as: theatre, cinema, dance, music, literature, plastic arts and more. Israel also has 23 co-production agreements in the cinematic field with many different countries and works to ensure the participation of Israeli artists in festivals, fairs, and international cultural events taking place all over the world.
181.With regards to international organizations, Israeli cultural institutions are in constant cooperation with such institutes of the European Union. Israel was also a member of UNESCO up until December 2018,and was involved in cultural and cultural heritage related activities in the framework of the organization. Unfortunately, due to the politicization of UNESCO and its persistent bias against Israel, including its attempts to rewrite history and deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, Israel left the organization. Israel is still a member of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO.
182.The Ministry has joint film production agreements with 25 countries; and is in various stages of negotiations with eight (8) other countries. The Ministry established a pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019, at a cost of 1.5 Million NIS (416,600 USD). The Ministry supports a series of events and festivals in which activities are held to promote Israeli works around the world and to encourage international cooperation.
183.Cooperation in the field of science – The Ministry of Science and Technology currently has 33 bilateral cooperation agreements in the field of science with countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. For additional information on the bilateral agreement, the organizations in the field of Science and Technology and bilateral research projects, see Annex I.