The Israeli National Insurance Institute (NII) manages the collection of compulsory social contribution as provided by the law, the distribution of social benefits to beneficiaries. Those benefits include health insurance, unemployment and aging benefits etc. The investigations of the NII in order to examine if a beneficiary is “rightful” are closely connected to the “center of life” criteria, upon which Palestinian Jerusalemites must prove that their center of life is Jerusalem. Failing to do so results in the revocation of their “permanent residency” and their displacement from their city and away from their families.
Although never entitled to full citizenship rights, Jerusalemites holding a permanent residency are entitled to benefits of the NII. The law requires each citizen or resident at the age of 18 to open a file at the NII. However, this file is not automatically opened for Palestinian residents, who usually delay their application until they have an income in order to pay the contributions. The NII does not grant benefits to any resident who is not “effectively” in Jerusalem. To ensure that only people who are truly entitled receive benefits, the NII has its own team of investigators who examine information provided by residents applying for benefits.
The investigation is a lengthy process during which the beneficiaries are denied any social protection and health insurance. The investigations of the NII have been criticized by many human rights organizations for breaching principles of proper administration and grossly violating the rights of the Palestinian residents of Jerualem.