Israel’s High Court of Justice has given the Education Ministry and Jerusalem Municipality 5 years to improve the provision of state education in East Jerusalem.Approximately half of East Jerusalem’s children currently attend public (state) schools, most of the remainder are either educated privately or are not registered as attending school at all. The ruling was made in response to a petition submitted in 2008 by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel. According to the court, the shortage of places is a result of years of under-funding and official neglect.

If the present shortage is not eradicated in 5 years from the date of the ruling, the Israeli authorities will need to subsidize the education of all who cannot get provision in public schools. According to a municipal spokesman, ‘The shortage in classrooms is primarily due to a shortage of available land for educational institutions in the city plans. Under the special circumstances that exist, the city is offering solutions by placing portable buildings, renting and converting existing buildings and constructing new ones.’