July 16, 2015
Following a Freedom of Information petition filed by Gisha to make public all Civil Administration procedures and protocols (AP 68189-12-14 Gisha v. the Civil Administration in the West Bank) the Civil Administration undertook to make available about 80 operating procedures which are of public interest and/or importance. According to the statement made by the Civil Administration (Hebrew), the operating procedures would be published in four phases – in June, July, August and September 2015.
The Civil Administration also undertook to translate the operating procedures into Arabic and publish the translated versions about four to six weeks after each phase.
The first batch of 14 operating procedures was posted on the website of the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories (Hebrew) (COGAT is the body in charge of the Civil Administration) at the end of June 2015. Some of these operating procedures were published for the first time and others had been published before but had since been updated. The second batch, which was to have been released in the middle of July, has not yet been published, contrary to the Civil Administration’s undertaking to the court. Nevertheless, on Thursday, July 16, 2015, 17 operating procedures were sent to Gisha by fax. Some of these were highly significant and had never before been made public, such as a procedure for issuing West Bank stay permits for Gaza Strip residents (Hebrew) and a procedure regulating how the Civil Administration posits a security ban on entering Israel and how such a ban can be removed (Hebrew). So far, the Civil Administration and COGAT have not bothered to publish these procedures via conventional channels, including COGAT’s website, which has been out of service for the past month because of technical difficulties, COGAT’s Facebook page or the IDF website. It appears that the procedures are at present available only on Gisha’s website.
None of the 31 Civil Administration regulations have been published in Arabic to date, despite the Civil Administration’s undertaking.
Gisha will continue to monitor the publication of all operating procedures, their availability to the public and their translation into Arabic so that those members of the public most affected by them are aware of them and can make use of them.