One of the largest gaps is in the area of special education, where, compared with Jewish children, Palestinian Arab children with mental, sensory, and physical disabilities receive less funding and fewer in-school services, have fewer special schools, and lack appropriate curricula. This is true despite higher rates of disability among Palestinian Arab children.
Under Israel's Special Education Law, the state must provide free special education to "special needs children" from ages three to twenty-one.156 A special needs child is one with a "physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral developmental impairment" that limits the child's "ability to adjust behaviors."157 A placement committee appointed by the Ministry of Education decides whether a child is eligible for special education and, if so, what kind:158 integration in a regular classroom (mainstreaming); placement in a special education classroom within a regular school; or placement in a separate special education school. Placement in regular schools is the preferred option under the law. The Minister of Education has the discretion to regulate class size and the provision of psychological and medical services, extend the regular school day or school year for certain schools, and determine what ancillary services to provide during these extra class hours.159
Palestinian Arab children are discriminated against in each of these three options. It is less likely that a Palestinian Arab child will be accommodated in a local school because the Ministry of Education allocates fewer resources per Palestinian Arab child for integration and fewer special education services to help Palestinian Arab children stay in regular schools. The special education classes are also larger in Arab schools than in Jewish schools. The separate Arab special education schools are inferior to the Jewish ones, and only a handful exist. Thus, many Palestinian Arab children face an unsatisfactory choice: to attend regular classes that do not meet their needs, to travel very long distances to attend an Arab special education school, or, if one is available, to attend a Jewish special education school. Faced with these choices, some parents just keep their children at home.
International law explicitly guarantees the right to education without discrimination for disabled children.160
In the 1999-2000 school year, 35,998 children attended special education classes in separate and regular schools.161 In addition, about 80,000 children in regular classes received special education services.162 The Israeli government, in its 2001 submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, stated that 18 percent of these children were Palestinian Arab.163 However, the Committee for Closing the Gap, in the Education Ministry's Pedagogical Secretariat, reported to the ministry's leadership in December 2000 that 30 percent of children needing special education were Palestinian Arab.164
Palestinian Arab children are diagnosed with "special needs" at a slightly higher rate than Jewish children, 8.5 percent of all children versus 7.6 percent.165 They also have higher rates of severe disabilities, 5.4 percent of all children versus 3.3 percent.166 About 7 percent of Negev Bedouin are hearing impaired, compared with 3 percent of the general Israeli population.167 But these numbers still underestimate the rate of disability among Palestinian Arab children, according to a 2000 study by the JDC-Brookdale Institute, a nonprofit organization that operates as a partnership between the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJJDC) and the government of Israel:
The Israeli government, which cites the JDC-Brookdale study in its 2001 submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, blames the under-diagnosis of learning, behavior, and speech disabilities on a lack of awareness among Palestinian Arabs of "the need to identify and diagnose disability" and "a severe lack of diagnostic services in the Arab sector."169 By failing to adequately diagnosis disabled Palestinian Arab children, the Ministry of Education denies them appropriate treatment. In addition, the difference in disability rates among Palestinian Arab and Jewish children increases the proportion of special education resources Palestinian Arab children should receive.The proportion of children with special needs is higher in Arab towns than in Jewish ones--8.3% versus 7.6%. It should be noted that this is an underestimate; it may be assumed that the actual gap is greater. The underestimate is a consequence of the lack of an appropriate system of identification and diagnosis of children with learning disabilities in the Arab sector.168
Despite higher rates of disability, Palestinian Arab children receive proportionately fewer special education resources than Jewish children. According to official data from the Education Ministry, it allocated only 10.8 percent of the total special education hours to Palestinian Arabs in 1996.170 By 1999-2000 it had increased their share, but only to 14.1 percent, with 2 percent of the total to Bedouin.171
Sources: Ministry of Education, Proposed Budget for the Ministry of Education 2001 and Explanations as Presented to the Fifteenth Knesset, no. 11, October 2000, p. 158; and Daphna Golan, Chair, Committee for Closing the Gap, Pedagogical Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Closing the Gaps in Arab Education in Israel: Data About Hebrew-Arab Education; Recommendations of the Committee for Closing the Gap; Protocol of the Meeting of the Directorship, December 13, 2000, December 2000, p. 3.
In addition, the Margalit Committee, appointed by the Ministry of Education to review the Special Education Law, concluded in 2000 that not enough funds had been allocated "for developing the grounds and physical structures to respond to [Palestinian Arab] students' needs."172
Resources for integrating special education students into regular classes--the preferred option under the Special Education Law--are particularly inequitable: only 8.4 percent (6,992 hours) of integration hours in 1998-1999 went to Arab schools.173 Although there were sixty-one Jewish integration kindergartens, there were none for Palestinian Arab children. 174 The ministry distributes integration hours to local authorities based on a criteria that takes into account the school's "development index."175 As explained above, this index discriminates against Arab schools.
Palestinian Arab parents and school officials told Human Rights Watch of trying to get assistance for special needs students in regular classes without success. The mother of an eleven-year-old disabled boy in a regular class told us: "There are forty-three kids in his class. There is no open space. Because of my son's condition he needs calm surroundings, but with forty-three kids he cannot concentrate. Every day because of the lack of help and assistance I come to sit with my son."176 An English teacher in an Arab high school said that in her school, "the special education students are integrated into the classrooms, and they are illiterate. We lack the money and tools to deal with the problem."177
In some cases, integration takes the form of a special teacher who works with students who are integrated into regular classes. Human Rights Watch visited two Jewish primary schools with such special education teachers.178 None of the Arab schools we visited had this kind of service.
Psychologists and counselors also help children integrate. According to Adalah, "[t]he shortage of psychologists and educational consultants in regular Arab schools also affects the ability of those schools to integrate suitable children with special needs. This problem exists despite the strong current trend to prefer integration over placement in separate special education frameworks."179
The discriminatory allocation of integration hours was the subject of a lawsuit in August 2000, which caused the Ministry of Education to promise to equalize the hours over a four to five year period.180
Part of the state's legal obligation to provide special education includes a duty to provide "physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other areas of professional treatment, as well as ancillary services, as required in order to meet the child's special needs."181 Palestinian Arab children receive fewer of these services, according to both the JDC-Brookdale Institute182 and the Israeli government, which reported to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2001: "A significant proportion of disabled Arab children do not receive the pedagogical, psychological, and paramedical services, or the hours of instruction, for which they are eligible."183 The Margalit Committee, appointed by the Ministry of Education to review the implementation of the Special Education Law, also concluded in 2000 that, "the Arab education system is discriminated against in an insufficiency of professional personnel and outdated equipment."184
The Israeli government blames the gap in services in part on a lack of awareness among Palestinian Arabs "of the importance of education for the disabled child."185 However, parents, teachers, and principals reported to Human Rights Watch that their requests to the ministry for special education services were often unheeded.
We interviewed the parents and teachers of Ali M., a Palestinian Arab boy suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare genetic defect in DNA repair causing severe sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation, especially to sunlight. Patients are highly susceptible to skin and eye cancer, and must therefore avoid any exposure to the sun. Ali M. was small and covered with dense freckles. The whites of his eyes were red, and his skin was scaly and flaking. His father told us:
The boy attends a regular school but does receive special transportation, albeit somewhat erratic, because he cannot walk in the sun. The school principal told us that he had been asking the Ministry of Education for "special tools and care" without success for the past three years.187My son is not allowed to be in the sun. He needs constant care and has to stay inside. He needs special services. In his classes there are no curtains, and the sun comes in and hits him. The government doesn't supply the needed tools. We have been asking for special support for many years. Usually we go to the Ministry of Education, and they tell us to go to the local municipality, and we go and are denied.186
According to the school's special education teacher, it is difficult for her to get extra help for any of her students who need it. About Sami G., another physically disabled child, she stated, "[f]or four years we have been asking for someone to attend to him--to help him go to the toilet, to go outside--and we can't get anyone to help."
In particular, Arab special education schools lack speech therapists. The nongovernmental Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA) reported in 2000 that of 1,185 speech therapists in Israel, only twenty-one were Palestinian Arab.188 This shortage results in some Palestinian Arab children being treated by speech therapists who do not speak Arabic. For example, it was reported in July 2000 that at the Niv school for the deaf in Be'er Sheva, where more than half of the children are Bedouin, speech therapy was conducted in Hebrew by a therapist who did not speak Arabic.189
The shortage also causes Arabic-speaking therapists to be responsible for more children than they can reasonably treat. Human Rights Watch visited an Arab special education school with approximately seventy children who were deaf or hearing impaired. The school had two part-time speech therapists who, between the two of them, worked five days a week. This was not enough time to provide speech therapy for every child, one speech therapist told us. "Other kids need it and you feel bad," she said.190 A municipal employee explained that it was difficult to find speech therapists because only one school in Israel teaches speech therapy, only a few Palestinian Arabs attend each year, and graduates could earn more money in private clinics than working for the school system.191
In addition, speech therapists may not be appropriately trained to treat Arabic-speaking students. In a March 22, 2000 letter to the Margalit Committee, an attorney for Adalah wrote:
Human Rights Watch interviewed a Palestinian Arab speech therapist with a B.A. in Arabic and special education, and a master's degree in reading disabilities from Israeli universities. All of her university training, except for her reading disabilities exam, was in Hebrew. Applying her training for Arabic-speakers has been difficult for this reason, she told us.193the few Arab students who study in these fields [paramedical fields including communication therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and art therapy] at the universities are not trained to handle the special needs of Arab children. For example, the curricula in the study of communication disorders do not relate to treating disorders of pronunciation of consonants that do not exist in Hebrew.192
In addition to needing more trained professionals, some schools lack proper equipment. "We need audiological rooms and audiological meters for the deaf children, and we don't have them," a speech therapist told us.194 A teacher for blind and low vision children elaborated: "Jewish schools are modern and have good equipment. We suffer from a lack of equipment. When we compare ourselves with Jewish schools, we find a drastic lack of equipment. All we have is a machine for printing Braille. Computers for the blind are very expensive. But we can't make a lot of progress today without computers."195 A special education teacher at a regular Arab primary school told us she lacked sufficient instruments and tools, and that she had received nothing new from the Education Ministry for two years. "The government says there is money but we haven't seen anything yet."196
Palestinian Arab children with special needs also receive proportionately fewer services from government bodies outside of the Ministry of Education.197 According to the JDC-Brookdale Institute: "In the case of most [in-kind] services, the percentage of children with special needs receiving services in Jewish areas is much higher (in most cases double or even triple) than the percentage of children living in Arab areas."198 A lack of services outside of school makes the work of special education schools even more difficult. A principal at an Arab special education school noted, "[w]e know that it is not enough in school. Not many children have funds for therapy."199
Proportionately, there are fewer special education schools for Palestinian Arab children than for Jewish children. In 1998-1999, only 8.5 percent of special education kindergartens and only 16.5 percent of other special education schools were Arab schools.
Sources: Daphna Golan, Chair, Committee for Closing the Gap, Pedagogical Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Closing the Gaps in Arab Education in Israel: Data About Hebrew-Arab Education; Recommendations of the Committee for Closing the Gap; Protocol of the Meeting of the Directorship, December 13, 2000, December 2000, p. 3; and CBS, Statistical Abstract of Israel 2000, no. 51, table 22.10.
On February 26, 2001, the Israeli High Court of Justice issued a order giving the government two months to reply to charges that there is a severe shortage of special education classes in the Arab sector.200 The case, which was pending at the time of writing, was the most recent of several cases filed at the beginning of a school year when there have not been enough classes for disabled Palestinian Arab children. For example, in response to a previous petition and resulting court order, the Education Ministry had stated that it would provide funds to open fifty additional classrooms for Palestinian Arab children with emotional or learning disabilities.201 However, the ministry has not changed its procedures to ensure that each year there are enough Arab special education classes.202
Because there are so few classes or special schools in the Arab system, students often must travel long distances to reach an appropriate school. At one Arab school for physically handicapped children that we visited, students came from approximately forty villages, some as far as seventy kilometers away, traveling an hour and a half each way. With the school day lasting from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., some children were away from home for as long as eleven hours a day, the principal explained.203 Under the Special Education Law, a special needs child is entitled to education at "a special education school near his home," or, if there is no school nearby, then "as near to his home as possible."204 State and local authorities bear joint responsibility for maintaining special schools, and the Ministry of Education has the power to order local authorities to open such schools.205
In addition, Arab special education classes are, on average, larger than Jewish ones,206 and children with a wide range of abilities are often placed in the same class. Human Rights Watch interviewed a special education teacher in a regular Arab school who, with the help of an assistant, taught twelve primary students whose disabilities included "hearing, seeing, mental problems, hyperactivity, serious disabilities, and dyslexia." She told us that:
However, she said, there is simply no more space in the school for another class.207 Human Rights Watch interviewed another Palestinian Arab special education teacher who taught one class of twelve students in four different grades, ranging from kindergarten to the sixth grade. She is supported by a psychologist who comes one day a week; there is no school social worker or counselor.208 We also visited an Arab school for mentally disabled children where the average class had fourteen students,209 and an Arab elementary school in Haifa with two rooms for forty disabled children.210 The Ministry of Education's regulations cap special education classrooms in regular schools at eight to fourteen students, depending on students' disabilities.211The fact that each one has a different level makes it hard to teach, so everyone has to go at the same pace. There are a few students that are just slow, but because they are with the disabled children they have to go even slower and they cannot develop. If we had another class and more space, we could separate them into six and six.
The government's 2001 submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child confirms that, "many special education schools in the Arab sector do not meet the minimum level or conditions required of an educational institution. Consequently, special education is `uniform', and children with differing needs are placed in the same class and receive the same care."212 The Special Education Law requires that each special needs student have an individualized education plan based on the child's particular needs.213
Moreover, some disabled Palestinian Arab children simply receive no special education at all. For example, a speech therapist and the principal of an Arab school for physically disabled children told us that there are no high schools for Palestinian Arab deaf students who are unable to integrate into regular classrooms.214 Israel reported to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2001 that, "the lack of special education institutions in the Arab sector often means that placement committees' decisions cannot be implemented. Children who have been diagnosed as needing special education do not necessarily receive it."215 Tel Aviv University senior lecturer Andre Elias Mazawi, who was a member of the Margalit Committee appointed by the Education Ministry in 1998 to review the Special Education Law's implementation, told Human Rights Watch that during its investigations the committee found a placement committee that had stopped screening children for special education because there was no place to send them. The children were being stigmatized by the placement committee's label of "disabled," but they were getting no benefit.216 Similarly, a report on special education in the Negev by the nongovernmental organization Shatil found:
Palestinian Arab teachers and administrators confirmed that children are being turned away from special education for lack of space. The special education teacher at an Arab primary school, who with an assistant teaches twelve children, told us: "We cannot accept more than twelve because we lack the instruments, the tools. Many children need to be in the class, but I cannot have more than twelve. Each kid needs special and private help, and it's just me alone. I cannot help all these kids." 218at the beginning of the year 2000, approximately 250 students were referred to preliminary classes. And yet, no existing classrooms could receive them. The school system was advised to open new classrooms in a short span of time and was hard-pressed to provide proper teaching hours and transportation . . . . This year, twenty Negev students were diagnosed with hearing disabilities, but a proper arrangement could not be made, and in the end they were either sent for integration into normal schools or left at home with a lack of proper arrangements. 217
At one Arab school for mentally disabled children, the principal told Human Rights Watch that although enrollment was officially restricted to eighty students, one hundred students were enrolled, and she had another forty-five to fifty students on her waiting list. "Every day I get phone calls from parents, especially parents in the villages, wanting to get their children in," she said. "I have to turn them away."219 Also, the school cannot accept any children with physical disabilities that prevent them from navigating the steep stairways leading to the classrooms and the toilets.220 Indeed, the school appeared cramped when Human Rights Watch visited. The one hundred students were divided among ten long, narrow classrooms that seemed to have once been five full-size rooms. Half of the classrooms were windowless. One class of about ten children had arranged their chairs in a tight circle--the room was so narrow that the circle spanned the width of the room. Teachers provided individual therapy in whatever leftover space they could find. When Human Rights Watch visited, every room, including the teachers' room, the kitchen, and the principal's office, was being used for teaching. The teachers' room was too small to seat all twenty-four teachers for a faculty meeting; when they met, some had to stand.221 Other than the roof, there was no recreational space, not even a parking lot as we saw being used at other schools. The roof was surrounded by a high fence and partially shaded by a long sheet of corrugated metal. When it was raining or too hot for the children to play on the roof, the principal told us, the children play in the school's single hallway, which was about two meters wide.
Similarly, when Human Rights Watch visited an Arab school for physically disabled children, the principal told us that the school was at maximum capacity. Usually students could be worked in, she said, although they often had to wait a year. The school had no room for a library; two days a week a social worker used the principal's office because there was no other space.222
In contrast, Human Rights Watch visited a regular Jewish middle school in Nazareth Ilit, a development town near Nazareth, that had a special room for art therapy. The room was sunny, well-stocked with paints, paper, and other supplies, and larger than the classrooms at the school for mentally disabled Palestinian Arab children.
The shortage of classes is particularly acute for Bedouin in the Negev. In 1998-1999, only 446 (1.4 percent) of the 32,501 Bedouin students in grades one through twelve in the Negev were in special education classes,223 compared with national averages in 1997 of 3 percent of Jewish children and 2 percent of Palestinian Arabs.224
There are two schools in the Negev for Bedouin with disabilities such as mental retardation, autism, and emotional or behavioral disorders: one in Kseife and one in Rahat. The nongovernmental organization Shatil, in a 2000 study, concluded that both of these schools were inadequate. 225 Shatil first found that that the physical buildings did not comply with the Ministry of Education's regulations:
Second, Shatil found that the social services provided in school failed to fulfill the students' needs:Each school's classrooms are housed in old buildings, many of them built in the 1970s. Today these structures do not meet their objectives, and their physical status is worse yet. At the Kseife school, structures are built with asbestos, a carcinogenic material whose use is prohibited for security reasons by the Director-General under recommendation from the Ministry of Health. . . . At both schools there are no specified rooms for private treatment like physiotherapy, although many of the students need such therapy. . . . There is no climate control in most of the classrooms in these schools (except a few classrooms at the Kseife school). . . . In some of the classrooms, the number of students exceeds regulations.226
Jewish Special Education SchoolsLack of individual treatment: . . . For example, last year at the Kseife school there was no physiotherapist for two months. In several of the other months, only one worker served in this position although two are needed. . . . Lack of complete education: . . . Playgrounds, or an area fit for recreation, which are important means for developing the social abilities of the students. . . . Disparities in service: Some of the children cannot enjoy a long day of education and depend on being transported outside the village, and therefore leave school at 2:30 p.m.; as is the case with children from the unrecognized villages."227
Where Arab special education schools do
not exist or are of poor quality, some Palestinian Arab parents send their
children to Jewish special education schools, if there is one nearby. However,
these schools are designed for Jewish children, from the curricula and
holiday schedule to the language of instruction, Hebrew. Orna Cohen, an
attorney for Adalah, explained to a journalist: "The problem is especially
serious for children whose ability to acquire language is limited. This
situation, where children are not taught in Arabic, prevents them from
deriving full benefit from the education given to them and undermines their
ability to acquire language and integrate into their own society."228
Israel, in its 2001 submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, states that under the Special Education Law "[i]t is assumed that [special needs children] have special educational needs; that meeting these needs requires special teaching materials and methods; and that without these, the children will not enjoy equal developmental opportunities."237 However, as documented below in the chapter on curricula, Human Rights Watch found that Arab special education schools lacked special curricula and teaching materials from the Ministry of Education. Khawla Saadi, Director of Curriculum for Arab Israeli Schools, told us that her department had just developed primary level special education books in Arabic in 2000.238 These had not been distributed to any of the special education schools Human Rights Watch visited.
"In the Education Ministry, they think about the Jewish child," the principal of an Arab school for disabled children told us:
156 Special Education Law, secs. A(1)(a), A(3) (1988). Although the law was passed in 1988, the sections concerning children ages three and four, and over eighteen, and the provision of ancillary services were intended to be implemented gradually, with full implementation by the start of the 1999 school year. Ibid., sec. E(22)(a).Lots of things are not suitable for our children. Some things are not even suitable for all Jewish children, only for the very strong sector. Sometimes the rules don't fit. For example, hours. The Long Day is O.K., but our pupils have to travel, which makes for a very long day, but it's the law. Many don't get home until 5:00 p.m. And the main subjects in school-last year Zionism was to be the main theme for school. They forget that even if I wanted to teach it, for our kids it is very hard.239
160 Convention on the Rights of the Child, arts. 2, 23(3); Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons, paras. 2, 6, 10, G.A. Res. 3447 (XXX), 30 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 34) at 88, U.N. Doc. A/10034 (December 9, 1975).
161 Ministry of Education, Proposed Budget for the Ministry of Education 2001, p. 158. This number includes students at special education preschools, special education classes within regular schools, and special education schools.
165 D. Naon, et. al., Children with Special Needs Stage I and Stage II: An Assessment of Needs and Coverage by Services (Hebrew), (Jerusalem: JDC-Brookdale Institute, 2000) cited in JDC-Brookdale Institute Disabilities Research Unit, People With Disabilities in Israel: Facts and Figures, September 2000, downloaded from the institute's website, http://www.jdc.org.il/brookdale/disability/index.htm (accessed on March 15, 2001). The children with special needs identified in the report "suffer from disabilities or chronic conditions such as deafness, paralysis, retardation, learning disabilities, severe behavioral problems, cancer, or renal failure and need medical or para-medical care on a regular basis." Ibid. It should be noted that the study uses a more detailed definition of special needs than the Special Education Law.
173 Golan, Closing the Gaps in Arab Education in Israel, p. 3. The Ministry of Education's integration services in regular schools include special education teaching; paramedical and therapeutic services; special aids and services for blind, visually impaired, deaf, and hearing impaired students; remedial education; and creative and expressive therapies. See Special Education Department, Ministry of Education, Points Emphasized in the Introduction to the Director General's Circular 59(c) 1999, http://www.education.gov.il/special/english6.htm (accessed on April 6, 2001); and Ministry of Justice, Initial Periodic Report, p. 205.
174 Ibid. A kindergarten is considered integrated when eight to ten children with sensory, linguistic, or developmental impairments are placed in the kindergarten by a special education placement committee. Special education teachers work with regular teachers in integrated kindergartens. Preschool Education Division, Pedagogical Administration, Ministry of Education, "Special Needs Populations in the Preschool Education System," http://www.education.gov.il/preschool/English/special_needs.htm (accessed on April 23, 2001).
175 "Each local authority is allocated a quota of teaching hours [for services for children with disabilities who attend regular schools] based on the number of students in its jurisdiction, the school's `development index', and the percentage of students with slight disabilities who are referred to placement committee in an effort to encourage their mainstreaming." Ministry of Justice, Initial Periodic Report, p. 206.
178 The No Fim Primary School had one special education teacher. Human Rights Watch interview with special education teacher, Haifa, December 12, 2000. The Ksulot primary school had two special education teachers. Human Rights Watch interview with Osnat Mordechai, principal, Ksulot Primary School, Nazareth Ilit, December 13, 2000.
181 Special Education Law, sec. A(1)(a) (1988). Ancillary services include "transportation, meals, auxiliary aides, medical, paramedical, psychological, and social services, and any other services ordered by the Minister." Ibid.
182 "Services in many areas are lacking in the Arab sector, including diagnosis of learning disabilities in Arabic, educational counseling, para-medical services, and psycho-social services, etc." JDC-Brookdale Institute Disabilities Research Unit, People With Disabilities in Israel (citing Naon, Children with Special Needs Stage I and Stage II; and M. Margalit, Report of the Commission to Maximize the Ability of Students with Learning Disabilities, Presented to the Minister of Education and Culture and the Minister of Science (Hebrew) (1997)).
/dd2808.html (accessed on September 6, 2000). See also Tamar Rotem, "Special Education for Arab Children is Only Available in Hebrew," Ha'aretz Daily Newspaper (English Edition) (Israel), July 16, 2000 (describing a lack of Palestinian Arab speech therapists).
197 Ministry of Justice, Initial Periodic Report, pp. 194-96, 199. However, a higher proportion of Palestinian children than Jewish children received National Insurance Institute disability benefits in accordance with the greater rate of severe disabilities among Palestinian children. Ibid.
198 JDC-Brookdale Institute, First Results of Study on Children with Special Needs in Israel: 160,000 Children and Youth Suffer from Functional Problems or Chronic Disease Requiring Ongoing Medical Care, December 23, 1999 (citing Naon, Children with Special Needs Stage I and Stage II), http://www.jdc.org.il/brookdale/special.htm, (accessed on November 8, 2000)).
200 Dan Isenberg, "Government Ordered to Explain Lack of Special Ed Classes in Arab Sector," Jerusalem Post, February 26, 2001, p. 5. The petition was submitted on behalf of six Palestinian Arab children aged nine to fourteen whom the Education Ministry's placement committees found to be eligible for special education under the Special Education Law. Some of the children were placed in regular classes and others in special education frameworks that did not meet their needs. According to news reports, "[b]efore the petition was submitted, the Education Ministry claimed it didn't have a budget for the special classes in the Arab sector. In response to the petition, however, it argued that it did not have trained manpower to teach the disadvantaged children." Ibid.
206 "Despite the increase in Arab children attending special education frameworks and the increase in special education classrooms, special education classes are still more crowded in the Arab than in the Jewish sector." Ministry of Justice, Initial Periodic Report, p. 311.
211 Special Education Department, Ministry of Education, Regulations on the Composition of Special Education Classes, http://www.education.gov.il/special /types_of.htm (accessed on April 6, 2001), para. 2.
229 Except where otherwise indicated, information about the school is from: Rotem, "Special Education for Arab Children is Only Available in Hebrew"; and Human Rights Watch interview with a parent, Haifa, December 6, 2000.
230 According to the parent of a student at the school, the principal agreed to have a second Palestinian teacher come several times a week for three hours but this had not yet begun. Human Rights Watch interview, Haifa, December 6, 2000.
/dataEng/36.shtml (accessed on June 1, 2001).
233 Shatil reports that 110 out of 118 students are Bedouin. Parents' Committee for Special Education for Arabs in the Negev, Shatil, Arab Special Education in the Negev (Hebrew), p. 8. Other reports state that 60 percent of the students are Bedouin. Rotem, "Special Education for Arab Children is Only Available in Hebrew."