Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Lior Lehrs

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

A-Tur is an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem located on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. It is distinguished by having, and being surrounded by, many religious and historical sites of importance to the three religions, including the Church of All Nations, Al-Zawiya al-As’adiyaa, and the Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery. Likewise, the neighborhood is a focal point for healthcare needs, with the hospitals of Al-Makassed, Augusta Victoria, and Amira al-Basma. 

The neighborhood (including the areas of the sub-neighborhoods Ash-Shayah and A-Sawaneh) has a residential population of 24,320 (as of the close of 2013). The overwhelming majority are Muslim, with a total of 80 Christian families. In 1945, towards the end of the British Mandate, A-Tur had a total of 2,800 residents, and in 1961, during Jordanian rule, it had 4,300 residents. Between the years 1967 and 2013 the population of the neighborhood increased by more than a factor of 4.5. A-Tur is considered one of the major neighborhoods of East Jerusalem in terms of population size. Only Beit Hanina (35,810 residents), the Muslim Quarter of the Old City (28,180), and Ras al-‘Amud (24,640) have larger populations. The median age for the neighborhood is 21 years, slightly higher than the average median age for all East Jerusalem neighborhoods (20). The Arab neighborhood with the highest median age is Abu Tor (25) and the one with the lowest is Sur Baher (16).

In economic terms, A-Tur is ranked in the third cluster of the city-scale Socio-Economic Index of the Central Bureau of Statistics (the lowest cluster is 1 and the highest is 20, based on the 2008 census). All the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are in clusters 2-5, that is, in the lowest quartile. Only two areas are ranked in cluster 5: the neighborhood of Bab a-Zahara and the Armenian Quarter of the Old City. The average monthly per capita income in the neighborhood is NIS 1,783, comparable to the average for Arab neighborhoods (NIS 1,735). The average for the city is NIS 3,916 and the average for the country is NIS 5,190. The Arab neighborhoods with the highest average monthly income are Beit Safafa (2,321) and Bab –Zahara (2,089), while the area of “New Anata” (1,465) and the Shuafat refugee camp (1,481), both of which are beyond the separation wall, have the lowest income levels. 

On average, East Jerusalem residents of Arab neighborhoods aged 25-54 have 11 years of education. This is also the average for A-Tur, and is lower than the average for the country (13 years of education). Among A-Tur residents, 13% have an academic degree. This is lower than the average for Arab neighborhoods (17%) as well as the average for the city (28%) and the country (30%). 

* The analysis is based on data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Socio-Economic Index of the 2008 Census, and data from the JIIS Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem. 

Take the Keys but It’s Registered in My Name

Lior Regev

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Last August, after years of planning and delays, work began on the first line (the Red Line) of the light rail in Metropolitan Tel Aviv. The complex infrastructure works that are taking place in the heart of the metropolis have raised concerns and tempers among merchants and business owners worried about loss of income and clients. The efforts it took to build and operate the light rail in Jerusalem teach us that the process of constructing a public transportation route in a built-up area that serves as an urban center can be expected to involve difficult labor pains.

Although it has improved in recent years, the municipal public transportation system here is not as developed as that of cities in Western Europe. The limited mobility, in addition to lack of public transportation on Saturday, leads many to purchase a private vehicle. According to data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in 2014 more than 2.1 million vehicles were registered in Israel. Some 83% (close to 1.8 million) of these were private cars (neither public nor commercial), and the remainder comprised taxicabs, trucks, buses, minibuses, and two-wheeled vehicles. 

In terms of locality, evidently even though Jerusalem has 23,000 more households than Tel Aviv (210,000 and 186,000, respectively), the number of private cars registered in Jerusalem is about 25% lower than the number for Tel Aviv (161,000 for Jerusalem compared with 214,000 for Tel Aviv).

Rishon LeZion – presumably because it is a suburb where many residents work in the metropolis – holds the record for the number of private cars per household, with an average of 1.18 cars per household. Tel Aviv is next, with 1.15 cars per household, and Haifa is in third place at 0.93. The average number of cars per household in Jerusalem is 0.77, slightly higher than the average for Israel, at 0.76.

One can imagine several reasons for the higher number of cars in Tel Aviv: Jerusalem residents are less wealthy on average and therefore less able to handle the expenses of a car. Additionally, Tel Aviv constitutes a center of business, and a profile of its residents includes more workers in free trades, who are willing and able to pay for increased mobility and time saved. 

But this is only a partial explanation. Traffic jams are the lot of any city such as Tel Aviv, the core city of a metropolis, just as other core cities throughout the world have to cope with ongoing traffic congestion. In other words, if you live in the inner city, a car might not necessarily improve your mobility in getting around the city, certainly not if a light rail line is being installed. Another reason lies in the system of registering vehicles by address.

The CBS classifies vehicles according to the address of the owner. For this reason, many cars are registered in Tel Aviv, when in fact they are registered in the name of private companies that operate in the city. These are in addition to state-owned cars and cars on lease. In sum, the number of cars in a city provides a direct measure of economic activity in the city, and serves as another indicator of the economic strength of the city.

Municipal Assets – Public Goods

Ruth Avraham

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Municipal assets are assets which the municipality owns or rents, as well as manages. These are a rare public resource, mostly used by various municipality departments or private voluntary associations that receive the building in a land allocation process.

In 2012, the "Public Knowledge Workshop" together with "Hitorerut" movement compiled a list of municipal assets in Jerusalem. The list contains 2,590 assets, with a total area of 3,400 dunams, or 3% of Jerusalem's municipal area. Sixty-eight percent of the assets serve as educational facilities such as kindergartens, elementary or intermediate schools, yeshivas, ulpena etc.; eleven percent are used by community, sport and welfare facilities; eight percent are bomb shelters; and the other 13% are divided between various cultural venues, libraries, mother and child care, offices, storage and others.

East Jerusalem residents constitute 37% of the city's population, but only 10% of the municipal assets are located in East Jerusalem. In Ultra-orthodox neighborhoods, whose population composes approximately 20% of the population, the "Public Knowledge Workshop" and "Hitorerut" found 25% of the assets. East Jerusalem has less than two assets per thousand residents; the large neighborhoods such as Gilo, Pisgat Ze'ev, and Har Homa have 2-5; and southern neighborhoods, mostly populated by the "General" Jewish population (non-Ultra-orthodox), such as Bak'a, Kiryat Yovel, Ein Karem and Makor Haim have 5-8. The overall average in Jerusalem stands at 3.2 assets per 1,000 residents.

All cultural venues, according to the list, are located in West Jerusalem. Only 5% of community, sport and welfare facilities are in East Jerusalem, along with only 3 branches of mother and child care (5% of the total in Jerusalem). Only 2 of 196 bomb shelters are in East Jerusalem.

The street and facility mapping's accuracy is limited, so there may have been errors in the geo-coding process. A further error may have been caused by the analyses of the number of assets, which greatly differ in size, but the overall trend is quite clear, and in line with other findings. We did not compare these findings to world trends, since definitions are very different in different countries.