COGAT head Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai. (Courtesy) (Courtesy)
Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai

The IDF presented projects promoted by Israel for the benefit of Palestinians in order to maintain regional stability and encourage economic development.

Aiming to maintain regional stability and promote economic development, an Israeli delegation on Wednesday showcased projects launched for the benefit of Palestinian residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The projects were presented during the bi-annual Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) conference in Brussels, with the participation of representatives from the US, European Union, Norway, Netherlands, UK, Japan, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Quartet and others.

The AHLC coordinates international donor support for the Palestinians.

The Israeli delegation included IDF Colonel Hatib Mansour, head of the Civil Department of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT); Yaffa ben Ari, head of the Economic Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Shaul Cohen from the Finance Ministry.

COGAT is the IDF unit responsible for implementing government policy in Judea and Samaria and vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip.

Mansour described the various projects promoted. Other Israeli delegation members presented proposals on how the international community could contribute to several projects, which COGAT says would significantly improve the quality of life for Palestinians as well as providing am economic boost.

The projects relate to electricity, water and sewage infrastructure,d employment and border crossings.

“Ultimately, the COGAT’s objective is to promote the civilian interests of Palestinians in order to improve their quality of life, and thereby bring about stability and prosperity for the general public,” COGAT stated.

Progress Despite Negative Palestinian Trends

It is of significance to note that the IDF’s Civil Administration’s activities over the past year occurred in the shadow of Palestinian violence and terror attacks, which were perpetrated against Israelis as a result of Palestinian incitement and glorification of terrorism.

Despite this security challenge, there has been a relative degree of stability in recent months, which has enabled the IDF to accelerate its progress in the implementation of the various projects.

The Coordination and Liaison Administration of Gaza has faced complex challenges this past year, mostly due to efforts by the Hamas terror organization to rebuild and rearm their military wing at the expense of Gaza’s civilian residents. Gaza’s civilian population is under the extreme burden of Hamas’ taxes and is exploited time and time again by the Islamic terrorist organization.

“Effectively, Gaza’s civilian populace is being held hostage by Hamas,” COGAT explained.

Participation in the AHLC is just a small part of COGAT’s year-round efforts to improve the welfare of all residents in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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