In response to letter from Gisha, COGAT confirms that only 53 of the 1,000 mobile homes donated by the Omani government have entered Gaza so far
On June 1, 2015, Gisha contacted the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), asking for information about the policy on the entry of mobile homes into the Gaza Strip to aid in the process of Gaza’s reconstruction after Operation Protective Edge – a policy that has been reported in the media. In the absence of any public announcement from COGAT confirming the decision to bring mobile homes into Gaza, Gisha wrote to COGAT asking for information about the new policy.
In our letter to COGAT, we asked how many mobile homes have been approved for entry and how many actually entered, what the mobile homes will be used for and where they originated. Gisha also asked what the conditions for bringing mobile homes into the Gaza Strip are and what the approval process is. These details are essential for assessing the contribution mobile home units would make to Gaza’s reconstruction post Operation Protective Edge.
On June 8, 2015, COGAT posted an update on mobile homes entering Gaza on its English language Facebook page, noting that it has been coordinating the entry of a hundred mobile homes.
The response to our letter (Hebrew) arrived on June 22, 2015, stating that the mobile homes were donated by the government of Oman and that they were destined for use by Palestinians whose homes were hit during the military operation. COGAT also stated that the Minister of Defense approved bringing the mobile homes into the West Bank and from there to Gaza without looking into the specific beneficiaries of the units.
According to COGAT’s response, the government of Oman donated 1,000 units, which were shipped to the Jericho area in the West Bank. A hundred of the units were assembled and 900 were disassembled. However, as of June 22, 2015, only 53 mobile homes had been brought into the Gaza Strip in eight different shipments. COGAT explained that after reviewing the issue of shipping the mobile homes out of Jericho and transporting them to Kerem Shalom, a decision was made to transport the units once a week, each shipment consisting of seven units shipped on seven trucks, with a police escort.
According to COGAT’s response, at this rate, it would take 153 weeks, or two and a half years, to complete the shipment of all units.
This information has yet to be provided to the public on COGAT’s website in Hebrew, Arabic or English.