The impoverished population in Israel is growing and it mostly consists of Palestinians.
~ Sergio Yahni, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
Twenty-five percent of the adult population in Israel and 35 percent of the children live in poverty, according to a reportÂ published by Latet, an organization that aims to reduce poverty in Israel. The 2016 Poverty Index was prepared for the non-profit group by the ERI consulting firm.
According to this report, 29 percent of the country’s population lives in poverty. By comparison, the official poverty report for 2014 states that 22 percent of Israeli citizens are impoverished.
According to Israel’s Bureau of Statistics, 90 percent of Palestinian families in Israel account for 30 percent of the country’s poorest population, while only 1.7 percent of Palestinian families belong to the wealthiest 30 percent of the population.
There is also a great disparity in income and expenditures amongst the impoverished, in Israel. In 2012, for example, 30 percent of poor families had an income of less than NIS 8,800 per month, some $2,200, but, they needed at least NIS 10,000 to fulfill basic monthly expenses, with housing being the highest cost.
Under these conditions, colonies in the West Bank are transformed into a vital alternative for the Jewish population of Israel. Rent for an apartment in a settlement on the outskirts of Jerusalem costs some 25 percent less than renting a similar apartment in a lower middle class neighborhood in Jerusalem. The colonies also provide higher quality homes and municipal services.
The settler alternative does not exist for Palestinian citizens of Israel. Israel continues to implement policies of dispossession against its Palestinian citizens that create social and political catastrophes.
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Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.