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COGAT

  • Why is Israel concocting ties between Hamas and ISIS?

    By dreaming up an association between Hamas and Islamic State, Netanyahu hopes Israel will have it easy the next time it goes to war against Gaza. The head of Israel’s military government in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav “Polly” Mordechai, spearheaded the latest round of Israel’s fantastical, anti-intellectual conflation between Hamas and ISIS this past week. Taking advantage of the horrendous attacks by an ISIS affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Mordechai told Al Jazeera Arabic that Hamas is aiding the world’s most terrifying terrorist organization—by bringing its wounded fighters into Gaza for medical treatment. The attempt to make a connection between the…

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  • Israel invites you to ‘like’ the occupation on Facebook

    COGAT’s new Facebook page will not hide the fact that with every 'like' it receives, the occupation becomes more permanent in our minds. A few weeks ago, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit launched its own Facebook page. COGAT, which operates under Israel’s Ministry of Defense, controls the blockade of the Gaza Strip through the land crossings; it allocates land and resources to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank; it prevents Palestinian development in Area C and oversees demolitions against Palestinian homes; it accepts or rejects Palestinian permits to enter Israel; and it facilitates the…

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  • Palestinians cease being 'threats' — for a month

    During Ramadan, Palestinians are no longer deemed 'security risks' or 'terrorists,' and are able to visit the holy sites in Jerusalem or the sea in Jaffa. This week marked the beginning of Ramadan, a month-long celebration during which Muslims the world over fast for 16 hours every day to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. That's right: 1.5 billion Muslims across the world choose to starve themselves. To all those who ask where we get our determination and tenacity from, they may find the answer this month. This is bad news for the Islamophobes of the world. The good news…

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  • On second thought, no: Gaza students denied exit permits

    The ease with which Israel can give and take away, allow and deny, isn’t just disturbing and depressing, it’s also further proof, in case anyone needed any, that Israel’s control over daily life in Gaza is immense. By Amir Rotem Early last week, the Palestinian media reported that the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee had reached some new understandings in its talks with Gaza District Coordination Offices (DCO) officials and that, among other things, for the first time in 15 years, Gaza residents would be allowed to travel to the West Bank for academic studies. On Wednesday, the Israeli Coordinator of…

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  • Palestinians ruled by secret regulations even the army can't explain

    Whether they want to attend family gatherings, open a business or visit sick relatives, Palestinians under occupation must adhere to military regulations, the vast majority of which are hidden from public scrutiny. By Maayan Niezna "There are no secret laws in Israel. […] Legislation that is passed secretly and kept away from the eye of the public is one of the characteristics of a totalitarian government, and is not in line with the rule of law" (Judge Cohen, Civil Appeal 421/61, State of Israel v. Haz [4], pg. 2204-2205) No one knows why, but Israel has a regulation that prevents Palestinians…

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  • Despite recent improvements, Israeli government can do more for Gazans

    The increases in movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza should serve as a reminder that Israel recognizes the need for civilian access, that the army can facilitate access when it is instructed to do so, and that more even more can be done. By Tania Hary The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which, among other things, oversees what and who comes in and out of Gaza, recently published its monthly report for July. The numbers published in the report reveal that, given the closing of tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border and a subsequent drop…

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  • You didn’t win Arab Idol? Kindly wait a few more years

    Israel approves Arab Idol winner Muhammad Assaf's request to change his residency to the West Bank without a hitch. Meanwhile, over 500 Palestinian residents of the West Bank are still waiting in fear.  By Itamar Sha'altiel More than 500 Palestinian residents of the West Bank are waiting today, just like they were yesterday. Some are afraid to leave their homes, others avoid crossing Israel’s checkpoints. They know that if a soldier happens to check their ID card, they might be removed to Gaza. The fact that they have family or a job in the West Bank won’t matter. The fact that…

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  • Israel overstates Gaza exports to Europe, won't budge on West Bank ban

    The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which regulates the movement of goods into and out of the Gaza Strip, flaunts having allowed limited export of goods from Gaza to Europe. While there is certainly value in the move, Gaza's economy would be far better served were the ban on similar exports to the West Bank lifted.  By Gisha So what exactly are “dolavim?” A type of crate. (In its translation from Hebrew to English, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, or COGAT, inexplicably referred to the containers or crates as “plane trees.” Huh?) Has Gaza started exporting crates?…

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  • Thousands of new work permits for Palestinians only serve the status quo

    Israeli officials will authorize 5,000 new work permits for Palestinian laborers. The move comes in the wake of the West Bank protests against the Palestinian Authority and the rising cost of living, and is meant to prop up the PA. The move is also a symptom of Israel’s hysterical reaction to foreign workers and African refugees. July saw the Israeli government grant permits to 5,000 Palestinian construction workers, including those who work in illegal West Bank settlements. The cynical move harnessed a captive labor market whose own economy has been crushed by the occupation—the very occupation it is being recruited…

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  • Photos: 'Ramadan kareem' at Jerusalem checkpoints?

    Due to a temporary relaxation in Israeli policy, many Palestinians traveled to Jerusalem through checkpoints during Ramadan this year. But now that Ramadan is over, it's back to business as usual. Every day, thousands of Palestinians circumvent the Israeli separation wall by crossing into Jerusalem without permission from Israeli authorities. Haggai Matar recently described this major flaw in the wall’s security rationale, even quoting a pro-barrier activist who admits: “There’s no problem crossing the gaps in the fence and tens of thousands of illegal workers cross it back and forth every day, and there should be no problem getting suicide…

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