HaMoked to the National Insurance Institute: Reverse your decision to revoke health insurance and other social security rights from East Jerusalem residents, without any legal basis, the provision of a notice or holding a hearing
In early June 2021, HaMoked started receiving requests for assistance from Jerusalemite Palestinians who discovered the National Insurance Institute (NII) had suddenly and arbitrarily revoked their families’ entitlement to health insurance and other social security rights. HaMoked has already sent NII the first two letters on this matter
on behalf of two families – parents and minor children – all of whom are permanent residents in Israel, whose center of life has always been in East Jerusalem, where they live, work and study.
In both cases, the families learned about the revocations by accident, when they tried to receive service at their health maintenance organization (HMO), without ever receiving an official notice from the NII or a pre-revocation hearing as required. In one case, the pregnant mother was told her health insurance had been “frozen” by the NII preventing her from getting basic maternity blood tests. In the other case, after the mother of the family learned that she could not schedule a doctor’s appointment due to an NII health insurance “freeze”, she called the NII and was told – via telephone only – that the NII withdrew recognition of the entire family’s Jerusalem residency on the claim of “non-maintenance of a center of life in Jerusalem”.
In its letters, HaMoked enquired what the factual and legal basis was for the revocations effected through a substantively defective process and constituting a severe and disproportionate violation of basic constitutional rights, among them the rights to human dignity, health and bodily integrity, and undermining the principle of the child’s best interest. HaMoked expressed concern that extraneous and arbitrary reasons were behind the series of revocations.
Several days earlier, on June 2, 2021, Ir Amim, MAAN Workers Association and the Clinical Legal Education Center of the Hebrew University sent the NII Director General a principled letter of protest
on this matter, according to which, thus far, some 80 people have been abruptly stripped of their NII rights, apparently as a collective punishment against the backdrop of the protests and rioting across Israel and in East Jerusalem in May 2021.
It should be noted that in the past, HaMoked assisted
East Jerusalem families stripped of their basic social security rights by NII in different circumstances, effectively as collective punishment following attacks against Israelis.