Report says Israel has 'third world islands'

Report to Knesset caucus: Some poorer Israelis live in neighborhoods without running water, facilities.

Lod Rakevet hood 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Lod Rakevet hood 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The third social justice report, to be presented to members of the social-environmental caucus of the Knesset Tuesday, will be a scathing criticism of the state's neglect of several urban spaces, going as far as calling some of Israel's less affluent periphery neighborhoods as "uninhabitable" and "third world islands." The worst conditions, according to the report, are to be found in Arab neighborhoods in cities with mixed populations, in parts of the haredi town of Bnei Brak and in developing towns in the South. Southern cities are additionally cited for their poor quality of infrastructure. In these places, the report claims, one can still see tin shacks, humans sharing quarters with animals, lack of roads and pavements, no sewage and drainage networks and a lack of trash collection facilities. In addition to poor living conditions in the said areas, which the report claims are detrimental to the health and security of those living there to the point of becoming life threatening, there are frequent cutoffs in water supply due to unpaid bills. Sometimes these cutoffs can last up to four days. One of the examples cited in the report is the Barbur neighborhood in Acre. The neighborhood, populated mainly by residents of low socio-economic standing, has no pavements and no street lamps. Sewage flows and garbage piles up in the streets. Furthermore, the neighborhood contains no public parks and children come dangerously close to main highways. Another aspect mentioned in the report is the gap between residents in the northern and southern parts of the same city. In Tel Aviv, residents of northern neighborhoods enjoy approximately 15 square meters of green areas per resident; in the southern neighborhoods, a resident has to contend with anything from 4 square meters to none at all. In those Tel Aviv neighborhoods, the levels of noise pollution (noise caused by such environmental causes as buses and construction sites) sometimes exceed allowed limits by 50 percent. In Lod, Ramle and Bnei Brak, polluting factories, garages and 'car dumps' are located close to residential buildings.