The Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1995. The agreement divides Judea and Samaria into three sections: A, B and C.
- Area A, which includes most of the large Palestinian population centers, is mostly under Palestinian Authority (PA) civil and security control.
- Area B is mostly under PA civil control and Israeli security control.
- Area C is mostly under Israeli security and civil control, although the PA has authority in civil matters not related to land.
The government of Israel, through the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), promotes development and improved living standards for the Palestinian population in Area C. This population totals some 90,000 people, roughly 3 percent of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria.
Israel meets all of its obligations to the Palestinian population in Area C, as required by the Oslo Accords and derived from Israel’s security control of the area and her authority over infrastructure, land, and planning.
Beyond the responsibilities designated in the agreements, Israel provides additional assistance to the Palestinians in Area C, in areas such as agriculture and health. Israel also supports projects in Area C that serve all populations in Judea and Samaria, such as waste disposal sites and waste water treatment plants.
What’s in this book?
This book is a compilation of all activities in Area C that COGAT has approved, supported or initiated. These activities include the approval of 328 different projects between 2011 and the first half of 2012, staff work on new master plans and the promotion of infrastructure projects and educational initiatives, some of which are funded by the Civil Administration.
The projects listed in this book are the result of joint efforts by the international community and the Palestinian Authority in cooperation with Israel.
The statutory process for construction projects in Area C is complex and lengthy, but it is necessary. Proper planning preserves the rights of individuals well as the public interest, especially in regards to the protection of the environment, the use of natural resources and the preservation of archaeological sites. In order for the Civil Administration to approve a project, the plans must undergo this statutory process and adhere to the time frames stipulated in the law.
Many construction projects in Area C are illegal and poorly planned. Such activity damages the environment and creates long-term problems that lower the standard of living for residents. Illegal construction projects that ignore master plans undermine the possibility for future expansions and create problems for electrical, sewage and water systems.
We can do more together
COGAT welcomes initiatives for projects in Area C, and works to ensure their success, but only as long as they adhere to the law. We encourage the international community to continue to work with us so that projects can be executed in a legal and efficient manner.
Furthermore, we call your attention to those projects that the Civil Administration has approved but have not yet been implemented because they do not have a sponsor (see Appendix B). Our shared goal is to continue to secure financing and to develop projects that benefit Palestinians living in Area C.
The projects detailed in this book are evidence of the great success that cooperation brings. They represent only a few of COGAT’s many joint ventures. More information can be found on the COGAT website.