Atta’a – Advancing Arab Residents’ Rights

Ataa Advancing Rights In Health Care


Atta’a – Advancing Arab Residents’ Rights


The Need: Most Arab residents of east Jerusalem are considered permanent residents, entitled to full rights regarding health and welfare services. However, many residents are not able to obtain these rights and benefits guaranteed them by law. The Atta'a Assistance Center for the Rights of East Jerusalem Residents was founded by the Jerusalem Foundation in 2004, with a goal to help Arab east Jerusalem residents to navigate the legal and health systems and other national agencies.


The Jerusalem Foundation, striving to shape a modern and vibrant city for all Jerusalem’s population groups, seeks to create opportunities, especially for the city’s most vulnerable populations. Atta’a aims to provide opportunities for Jerusalem’s Arab residents to obtain their legal rights.


Impact on Jerusalem: In its over 10 years of operation, Atta’a has come to be viewed as an independent entity, and has gained the trust of residents where other service providers have not. At the same time, Atta’a maintains working relationships with a wide variety of organizations and agencies, which enables it to work effectively for the benefit of Arab residents of east Jerusalem. Assisted by a pool of 30 volunteers, both Arab and Jewish, who assist with individual requests as well as workshops and lectures, Atta’a is able to help thousands of residents.


More specifically, Atta’a offers:

  • Ongoing One-on-One Work with Residents: Information and assistance in navigating government institutions such as the National Insurance Institute (NII), Interior Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality. Residents receive help in completing various forms, including which documents must be attached to which requests; writing and translating letters to municipal and national agencies. and completing affidavits and follow-up regarding cases, until they reach court.
  • Mass Awareness Raising: Lectures for more than 1,500 high school students in east Jerusalem per year to raise awareness of their rights, as well as workshops and lectures for the general public.
  • Networking and Partnerships: Ongoing contact and consultation with and referrals to 70 organizations and centers in the broader community. This includes participating in four major forums that work to advance mental health, accessibility, child development and reunification of families. It also includes meeting with a wide range of forums and institutions in order to raise awareness of its work and to answer the needs of residents. The Atta’a staff also has connections with social workers in hospitals, HMOs and more, which enables residents to obtain rights and services due them more easily.


Partners: The Jerusalem Intercultural Center; Jerusalem Municipality


Funding Needed: NIS 200,000 per year