Do you know how to get here?
This is the Israel Ministry of Interior office, within the Jerusalem Municipality complex, where Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem can go to change their address and register newborns. At the beginning of October, the The Atta’a Assistance Center for the Rights of East Jerusalem Residents posted a short video on exactly where it is inside this rather large complex of buildings, and exactly how to get here. Here’s the video:
This 1 1/2 minute video got over 20,000 views! (11,500 on the Atta’a Facebook page, and the rest as a result of the 138 shares)
Indeed, over the past year, Atta’a has become the go-to source of information for East Jerusalem Palestinians on issues regarding the Ministry of Interior, the National Insurance Agency, and more. Google “Ministry of Interior, East Jerusalem” in Arabic and you would expect to get the government agency. But what really comes up first? Atta’a.
Over the past year and half, since the launch of Atta’a’s new web site, Atta’a has become the authority for East Jerusalem Palestinian residents. Uniquely, Atta’a provides information that is geared to the needs of East Jerusalem residents, providing them with information regarding their Jerusalem residency status, family unification issues, etc., that affect only East Jerusalem residents. There are sites that explain in Arabic but often they are geared toward Arabs who are full Israeli citizens. There are also sites geared for residents of the Palestinian Authority, but these, too, are not relevant for Jerusalem residents. And residency issues affect them not only vis-a-vis the Ministry of Interior, but also in health care, welfare, social security, education and more. Explanations on the Atta’a site seek to be easy to understand, cutting through the bureaucracy as simply as possible. Atta’a provides step-by-step demonstrations in filling out different forms and going about different procedures, and is there to individually help residents when needed, both online and in person.
As we have seen in nearly every parameter, the demand for Atta’a is huge, and we are proud that Atta’a is rising to the cause. Here are some of Atta’a’s accomplishments in 2017:
- The number of active entrances into the Atta’a web site increased tenfold! (In 2016, there were 3,631 entrances, and in 2017, 36,760 in 2017.)
- The number of likes on the Atta’a Facebook page increased by 300%! (from 5,000 likes in 2016 to over 13,500 in 2017)
- 425 questions were answered by e-mail or telephone messaging.
- In-person consultations at the three assistance centers also increased by 60%, from 500 requests to 800.
Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its support of Atta’a since its founding in 2004.