Established on January 1st, 2008, Al-Maqdese for Society development launched its first phase project “Legal Clinic (LC)” funded by the Spanish Cooperation for an 18 month period. The second phase of the project started from June 2010 until the end of 2011 while the third phase started from June 2012 lasting until September 2013. The Clinic is established as a reaction to the systematic violations of Palestinians’ fundamental human rights in Occupied East Jerusalem by the Israeli government due to the application of Israeli policies and control over the area and the administrative and military laws in the city, which contravene with International Humanitarian Law and the fourth Geneva Convention. Imposing such policies aims at changing the demographics of the city, geographic borders and legal status and at displacing Palestinians and preserving the city as a unified city since Israeli authorities has annexed Jerusalem in 1967.
Since then, they started implementing arbitrary policies and measures such as settlement expansion, land confiscation, imposition of heavy fines as punishment for “building without permits” and home demolitions. Hence, Israeli authorities restrict Palestinians’ freedom of movement and their right to exist and reside in holy Jerusalem, through the imposition of military checkpoints, establishment of the separation wall, imposition of obstacles on family unification and children registration not to mention Jerusalemites’ deprivation of their rights and properties expropriation by settler organizations.
Such policies and measures have increased the Palestinians’ daily suffering and the degradation of their political, economic, and social conditions.This was accompanied by the lack of Palestinian entities providing legal and technical consultations, awareness and guidance also in coping with such measures when dealing with Israeli official departments such as the Israeli Ministry of Interior, Israel Municipality of West Jerusalem, National Insurance Institute.
Hence, this caused that Palestinians lose their rights due to their lack of knowledge of the Israeli laws, policies, and practices; and lack of legal guidance and representation in front of Israeli occupation and courts.MSD Legal Clinic has provided 63 types of legal and technical services including legal and technical consultations, legal representation in courts and various official governmental departments as well as oral and written translations, accompaniment in courts, awareness and guidance sessions. It is important herein to point to the development and the increasing number of the LC services qualitatively and quantitatively; in 2008 3.094 services were provided by receiving 400 beneficiaries, while in 2009, 11.144 services were provided by receiving 1000 beneficiaries, however in 2010 16.829 services were provided by receiving 1208 beneficiaries. In 2011, LC provided more than 39,323 legal and technical services for 3,628 direct beneficiaries.
Al-Maqdese prides itself for providing more than 70,000 technical and legal services for the project beneficiaries during its whole period of implementation. In addition, MSD was able to launch a specialized data base to issue analytical reports on human rights, especially home demolitions and displacements. Such reports cover social, economic, political, psychological and educational impacts of Israeli violations on the daily lives of Jerusalemites.
To read the report of the Legal Clinic phase I (2008-2009) Arabic / English