In 1999 Al-Quds University created the “Community Action Center” (“CAC”), a semi autonomous association, which aims to empower the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem.
The CAC aims to empower the disadvantaged Palestinians of East Jerusalem to access their rights and entitlements and negotiate the complex bureaucratic procedures that control the flow of these rights.
Most Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem are residents and not citizens of Israel. They have to prove that the center of their life is actually in Jerusalem, otherwise they will lose their residency. As Palestinians can’t leave East Jerusalem as they will lose their residency, they need to build new homes for their children in East Jerusalem. But they barely get the permits needed to build new houses, even on their own land property. When they decide to build without a permit, there is a chance to receive a demolition order. They have to demolish their own house. If they don't do it, the authorities will come, do it for them and present them with a huge bill of around a hundred thousand dollars.
The Israeli policies in Jerusalem are made to increase the number of Jewish inhabitants and reduce the number of Palestinians.
Many Palestinians do not know what their rights are, how to deal with the authorities and where to find support. The CAC gives legal assistance, advice and works on advocacy to get the international community involved.
In this episode you can hear General Director Mounir Nuseibeh and Advocacy Officer Munir Marjieh.
To learn more about the CAC you can visit their website https://cac.alquds.edu/en/
TIP: Listen to 'Pre-occupation pod' a not so short history of Palestine, available on most podcast players or use this link: Listen to the podcast
If you enjoy listening to Stories from Palestine then you should also check out the podcast Jerusalem Unplugged. You can find it on most podcast players and on social media.