COGAT recently released two reports covering projects that it has approved in order to improve the quality of life of Palestinians living in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria
Date: 21/09/2012, 1:26 PM Author: COGAT Website
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) recently published two reports covering projects carried out with its support and approval in order to improve the quality of life of the Palestinian population. One report covers projects that COGAT has approved since 2010 with the aim of aiding the residents of the Gaza Strip. The other summarizes projects in Judea and Samaria that COGAT has approved since 2011.
In order to aid the population of the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Hamas terror organization, COGAT works together with international organizations and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to carry out projects improving the region’s civilian infrastructure.
Since 2010, COGAT has approved 235 projects in the Gaza Strip – 88 percent of all those proposed – and the vast majority of those that have not yet been approved are either pending approval or due to be altered and resubmitted for approval. Most of the approved projects are related to construction of housing and civilian infrastructure – including schools, clinics, roads, and agricultural installations. Ninety-four of these projects are related to education, including the construction of 70 new schools.
COGAT has approved these projects with the understanding that they represent a “calculated security risk.” Given that the Gaza Strip is ruled by the Hamas terror organization and that recent years have seen hundreds of rockets fired each year from Gaza into Israel, the unregulated transfer of construction materials into the territory could allow terrorists to build military installations. In many cases, working with international organizations offers COGAT a solution, as these organizations can track the imported goods and ensure that they don’t fall into the hands of terror groups.
Since 2010, the economy of the Gaza Strip has improved significantly, with its GDP rising by 19% in 2010 and by 23% in 2011.
In contrast to Gaza, Judea and Samaria are divided into three zones, as designated by the Oslo II agreement: Area A, Area B, and Area C. Only Area C, home to roughly three percent of the Palestinian population of Judea and Samaria, is mostly under Israeli security and civil control. As a result, the COGAT report on projects in Judea and Samaria only discusses projects approved for Area C.
In 2011 and the first half of 2012, COGAT approved 328 projects in Area C. These projects aim to strengthen the infrastructure serving the area’s Palestinian residents in realms including education, medical care, environmental protection, agriculture, transportation, energy supply, and telecommunications.
Through the work of COGAT, the Civil Administration, and the IDF (Zahal), Israel not only meets all of its obligations to the Palestinian population of Area C in accordance with the Oslo Accords, but exceeds these requirements by providing additional assistance.