HaMoked petitions the HCJ: end improper and degrading treatment at the entrance to the East Jerusalem population administration bureau
Since February 2007, the offices of the population administration bureau and the employment service bureau, which service the East Jerusalem residents, have been in the same building. Since then, terrible traffic and overcrowding exist there, and the experience of waiting in line is drawn out and humiliating, at times even dangerous.
As early as in March 2007, HaMoked appealed to the Minister of Interior regarding the conditions at the entrance area of the East Jerusalem offices. HaMoked asserted that the waiting line at the bureau's entrance was unreasonably lengthy; some have to wait outside regardless of the weather; due to the overcrowding, people are dangerously pressed into the electronic remote controlled turnstiles; the security guards treat the waiting crowd in a rough and disrespectful manner, contrary the norms of conduct expected of governmental service providers.
In the course of the correspondence, the population administration bureau acknowledged the overcrowding and its consequences, attributing it to the fact that its customers and those of the employment service stand in the same line. Four years hence, despite the interior ministry's claims of striving for a proper and adequate solution, nothing has been done yet to correct the situation.
Before initiating legal action, HaMoked sent another reminder to the Ministry of Interior. The employment service bureau replied that following HaMoked's appeal, senior officials at the bureau had inspected the location, leading to the decision to remove the attendance machines out of the building, and to extend the enclosed passageway so that people waiting in line would "be under cover, protected from the sun and rain and terrible overcrowding". However, the employment service stressed that the solution "does not pretend to solve the entire overcrowding problem, but rather to minimize it."
On January 5, 2012, as nothing had been done to improve conditions, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice to order the Ministry of Interior to seek and solve the problems of intolerable and severe overload and overcrowding which daily confront the public service seekers at the East Jerusalem population administration bureau. HaMoked asserted that the conditions at the waiting line are unacceptable and infringe on the waiting public's rights to dignity and equality. HaMoked contended further, that the interior ministry acts contrary to its obligations under administrative law and the rules of proper governance, and moreover, that the harm to the bureau's service seekers has been continuing for many years, is disproportionate and in disregard of their basic rights.