COGAT stresses importance of fighting global de-legitimization

Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot spoke at a recent conference showing that Gaza is “not a humanitarian crisis, but rather a financial opportunity” as local economy continues to improve

Date: 20/04/2012, 6:29 PM     Author: COGAT Website

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, spoke at Israel’s Combating the De-legitimization conference discussing of ” Israeli de-legitimization prevention strategies and shaping of public opinion.” The panel of speakers at the conference, which included mostly international representatives, discussed the different strategies.

Maj. Gen. Dangot opened his speech by stressing the In importance of the battle for public opinion regarding the legitimacy of the Israel’s activities in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. He explained that soldiers of the COGAT unit are present in the field at all times, directly interacting with the Palestinian population and international bodies, as well as providing constant updates.

“We are facing widespread lies cultivated by the terrorist organizations, mainly Hamas.” said Maj. Gen. Dangot. He gave the example of the electricity shortage in the Gaza Strip which is strictly the result of an internal Palestinian issues between the Palestinian Authority n Ramallah, the Hamas terror organization and with Egyptian involvement. “Israel has made clear, more than once, that any request presented by the Palestinian Authority concerning the transport of fuels from Israel to the Gaza strip, through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, will be obliged and diligently carried out.”

“The international community is an influential crucial factor in the Palestinian arena, and its involvement level has gradually increased over the years”, said Major-General Dangot. “Critics and activists that visited the Kerem Shalom Crossing and saw the quantity of goods and merchandise being delivered to the Gaza Strip on a daily basis as well as projects carried out in coordination with international representatives, quickly ceased discussing a supposed “humanitarian crisis” in the region and began exploring financial opportunities including export from Gaza to foreign markets.” He assured, “By presenting simple facts and reliable data we can counteract any attempt to damage or stain the legitimacy of Israeli and IDF (Zahal) activity,”

Gaza Strip economy continues to improve

First quarter of 2012 data shows that the economy at the Gaza Strip continues to grow with an increase in export to foreign markets, and more supplied resources.

In the first quarter of this year, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) coordinated the export of 1.4 tons of produce from the Gaza Strip to European markets – more than was exported all of last year (2011). This quarter saw the export of 639 tons of strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, and flowers, as compared to 448 tons of agricultural exports during 2011.

A month ago, COGAT signed an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Dutch governent for the donation and establishment of additional transfer for goods through the Kerem Shalom land crossing, so as to increase agricultural exports from the Gaza Strip. The establishment is expected to be take place this June.

COGAT in action

Earlier this month, COGAT arranged the transport of four large converters used to improve the activity and electricity generation capacity at the power plant in the region.

A few months ago for the first time since 2007, COGAT approved the export of two trucks loaded with dates from the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria.

Approximately one month prior, COGAT enabled export of tomatoes grown in the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007. The fresh crops were exported to markets in Jordan via the Allenby Bridge.The crops were exported just a few days ago via the Kerem Shalom crossing. During the tomato export, 30 tons of produce were transferred in two separate trucks through the Kerem Shalom crossing and the entered Jordan via the Allenby Bridge.

As part of the agricultural export from the Gaza Strip to European markets, over 460 tons of strawberries, 40 tons of peppers 17 tons of cherry tomatoes and 1.5 million carnation flowers were exported during the recent season.

COGAT will continue working with the Erez District Coordination Liaison to efficiently enable gradual export from the Gaza Strip to markets abroad and in general.This is part of the financial and civilian decree the Israeli government is obligated to fulfill in accordance with the current security conditions. In addition it assists in matters of health, education, agriculture and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip as well as in Judea and Samaria on a daily basis.

The COGAT Unit is subordinate to the Minister of Defense and is part of the General Staff. The unit carries out and implements civilian policy of the government of Israel in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip in coordination and conjunction with the Prime Minister’s Office, other government ministries, the security forces and the IDF (Zahal) General Staff.

As part of its activities with the international community, COGAT facilitates the activities of international organizations active in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip including in matters pertaining to infrastructure, education, health and housing projects and the implementation of humanitarian aid programs. It works with the CLA of the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria’s Civil Administration to facilitate entrance of supplies such as gas, building materials, electrical appliances, ceramic parts, wheat and other foods, hygienic products and more.