The Ministry of the Interior intends to open only six polling stations in the Palestinian districts of East Jerusalem during the municipal elections in October, compared with 187 in Jewish districts, although East Jerusalem contains 40 percent of the population of the city.
In total, East Jerusalem has about 360,000 inhabitants.
The list of voting booths is published on the website of the supervisor of the Ministry of local elections.
Since Israel conquered East Jerusalem in 1967, the ministry has opened few polling stations in the east because Palestinian residents have boycotted the municipal elections in large numbers. (They are not eligible to vote in Knesset elections because they are permanent residents, not citizens.)
At the last municipal elections in 2013, only slightly more than 1 percent of the eligible Palestinians voted. This time, the Ministry has allocated only 3 percent of the polling stations to those neighborhoods.
This means that even a Palestinian who wants to vote will find it very difficult to do this. While each polling station in Jewish neighborhoods will serve an average of 2,000 eligible voters, this will be 40,000 in Palestinian neighborhoods.
In addition, three of the six assigned polling stations are located in the southern Beit Safafa district, where half of the inhabitants are Israeli citizens, since the pre-1967 border cuts right through the neighborhood. The other three are in the old city and the districts Sheikh Jarrah and Jabal Mukkaber, and each of these will serve an average of 80,000 eligible voters.
The remaining Palestinian neighborhoods will not have polling stations, even if tens of thousands of people live there. These include neighborhoods east of the separation wall, which have about 100,000 inhabitants.
For many Palestinians, the nearest electoral office will therefore be at least 5 kilometers away from their home.
Another difference is the number of voting booths per polling station. In Jewish neighborhoods, each electoral committee has an average of 3.5 cubic meters. But because there are so few Palestinian stations, the Abdullah Ibn Hussein School in Sheikh Jarrah, for example, will have no less than 75 stands – none of which are accessible to the disabled.
The only Palestinian voting booths that are handicapped are in Beit Safafa.
"When you deal with numbers, you sometimes become cynical," says Yair Assaf-Shapira, researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, who has analyzed the list of polling stations.
"But you look at this figure and you check it over and over again and you can not believe what you see.The fact that they do not vote is apparently a good excuse to prevent them from voting.What this means is that you are the few denies those who want to have the right to do so. & # 39;
This year, for the first time in decades, there is even a Palestinian ticket at the municipal elections. The slate, called Jerusalem for Jerusalemites, is led by Ramadan Dabash, a resident of the district Sur Baher.
Dabash has urged Palestinian Jerusalemites to vote to improve their destiny. But the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian political groups have called on East Jerusalem residents to maintain the boycott, and the council of Palestinian muftis has issued a religious verdict stating that votes are forbidden in municipal elections.