Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A-Tur

Lior Lehrs

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies 
 www.jiis.org

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.