Jerusalem24 – Approximately 30% of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories are “youth”, between the ages of 15 and 29.
While today’s youth is better educated than any generation before it, the transition to the labor market is difficult, resulting in high unemployment rates. Youth are at the forefront of the struggle against occupation when it comes to death and injury, arrests and detentions, and face – as Palestinians at large – discrimination in almost every aspect of daily life from denial of basic human rights to attempts at eliminating their national identity. However, disillusioned by the decades of uprisings and negotiations that have, in their eyes at least, not produced anything but cynicism and a worsened situation on the ground, they rather stay away from traditional political participation, which keeps their representation and role in decision-making very low.
Palestine’s youth living in occupied East Jerusalem face particular difficulties. Being considered residents but not citizens of the state of Israel they live with a persistent threat of being displaced when doing “normal” things such as applying to jobs or universities, enrolling their children in school, or even choosing a spouse.
They see land confiscation and construction and the expansion of Israeli settlements right next to their own neighborhoods or even in the midst of them, while being themselves forced to build “illegally” due to Israel’s harsh building-permit restrictions.
They are denied family unification and child registration, with an estimated 12,000 of them subsisting without legal status.
While they are subjected to the same tax rates as Israelis (whose per capita income is way higher), municipal services are provided unequally and any development in East Jerusalem is neglected.
In this episode, Mohammad Hamayel speaks with Adnan Joulani, Project Manager at the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), about the realities of Palestinian youth and how PASSIA aims to give those youth a platform to speak up.