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IDF document: "Policy principle: separating Gaza from West Bank"

An IDF Powerpoint slideshow, presented before the Turkel committee for the investigation of the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, reveals the official goals of the Israeli policy regarding the Gaza strip.

The slideshow, prepared by The Administration for the Coordination of Government Policy in the Territories – the IDF body in charge of carrying out Israeli government policies regarding the civilian population in the West Bank and Gaza – deals with the humanitarian conditions in the strip; with food, water, fuel and electricity supply and with the condition of medical facilities in Gaza.

download the IDF slideshow [Hebrew] here

The first set of slides details the background for the current activities of The Administration for the Coordination of Government Policy in the Territories. Slide number 15 details the principles of Israeli policy (my italic):

- Responding to the humanitarian needs of the population.
- Upholding civilian and economic limitations on the [Gaza] strip.
- Separating [or differentiating, בידול] Judea and Samaria [i.e. West Bank] from Gaza – a security and diplomatic objective.
- Preserving the Quartet’s conditions on Hamas (Hamas as a terrorist entity).

Slide 20 deals with freedom of movement from and to the Gaza strip. Policy objectives are:

- Limiting people from entering or exiting the strip, in accordance with the government’s decision.
- Separating [differentiating] Judea and Samaria from Gaza.
- Dealing with humanitarian needs.
- Preserving the activity of humanitarian organizations in the strip.
- Keeping a coordinating mechanism with the Palestinian Authority.

The Israeli policy regarding Gaza could be seen as violation of official and unofficial principles of previous agreements and negotiations with the Palestinians and other parties. Gaza and the West Bank were regarded as “one entity” – though not officially declared as such – already in the 1978 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. The Oslo Declaration of Principles, signed in September 1993 and still an abiding document, specifically states that:

The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, whose integrity will be preserved during the interim period.

This declaration was ratified in following agreements from 1994 and 1995.

The recent IDF slideshow is the first time an Israeli official document publicly declares that the current policy objective is to create two separate political entities in the Palestinian territories.

Nirit Ben-Ari, spokeswoman for Gisha, an Israeli NGO dealing with the freedom of movement, export and import to and from the Palestinian territories, said that “while in Washington a Palestinian state is being negotiated and people are already discussing ‘a train line between Gaza and Ramallah‘, in reality Israel is working to separate Gaza from the West bank even further than the separation already caused by the split in the Palestinian leadership.

“This policy is aimed against civilian population and against people who have nothing to do with Israel’s security concerns. It hurts family ties, and harms any future possibility to develop commerce, education and economical life in the Palestinian society. Those policies should raise concerns regarding the intentions of the Israeli government in Gaza.”

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Other slides in the IDF slideshow deals with the ways the IDF gather information on the humanitarian situation in the strip (mainly through NGO’s and media reports), how food and fuel supply is evaluated, and how the needs of the local population are calculated. According to the IDF assumptions, there are 1,600,000 people living in Gaza. The army does not occupy itself with the distribution of supply, so there is no way of knowing if the population’s needs are actually met – only that according to the IDF, enough food and water is entering Gaza.

The slideshow doesn’t deal with the export of goods from the strip, nor does it explains the mechanism that is used to determine which civilian goods could be brought in.

Slide 50 details the goods found on the Gaza-bound flotilla: medical supply, toys, school gear, construction materials and powered wheelchairs.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Toni Blackman

      Nirit, well done! Very courageous of you to speak out, especially now! As you know, I visited the Middle East, including Israel in March 2010 with a group of students from NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and our Prof. Alon Ben-Meir. We met with a number of Israeli gov’t officials, university professors, philosophers, etc., even a leader from the Peres Peace Center. They all left me w/the distinct impression that they were not REALLY willing to do what was necessary to ensure peace, that is…go to the table without any conditionalities! We know that the division of the Palestinians was a deliberate construct of the Israeli secret police…divide and conquer has worked in many instances. In fact, I believe that unless the language that they use begins to reflect compromise and openness (really), it is a pointless exercise. All of these discussions led me to believe that peace between Palestinians and Israelis will not be a reality in my lifetime, if ever. Behind the scenes, the policy has been set (as you have confirmed)- w/out being explicit, this is exactly what the gov’t official eluded to as well! That said, Netanyahu has a huge ego and perhaps he would like to go down as a great man in history, but that would mean that he must go against the teachings/beliefs of his father and his wife; maybe there is a remote possibility that he may “sell-out” his conservative constituency and go along with a peace process?!? Unlikely, but this is left to be seen… I don’t even believe that tough as nails, ambitiious Hillary Clinton, will be able to pull that off. If she does…she will be the next US president!!!

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    2. [...] Westbank und Gaza politisch zu teilen – entgegen dem, was in Oslo unterschrieben wurde. Ein blogger hat das hebräische Dokument aufgearbeitet: The slideshow, prepared by The Administration for the [...]

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    3. Craig Charney

      Is it possible to get a fuller translation of the presentation text from you or for you to have someone else do it? It looks rather interesting, but those of us with poor Hebrew have trouble with it?

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