“Procedure for the transfer of mail between Israel and the Gaza Strip” revealed following Freedom of Information request filed by Gisha
On March 20, 2013, Gisha filed a request (Hebrew) under the Freedom of Information Act 5758-1998 (hereinafter: the act) to the official in charge of implementing the act at the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). The request asked for documents detailing the procedures, criteria and considerations relating to the sale of Gaza-made goods in Israel and the West Bank. We specifically requested procedures relating to the transport and marketing of goods from Gaza via hand luggage (i.e. being carried out by hand at Erez Crossing) and postal services.
Since 2007, Israel has prevented Gaza-made goods from being sold in Israel and the West Bank. The policy is applied across the board, without distinction between the Hamas government and civilians in the Gaza Strip. It impacts the normal functioning of life in Gaza and harms civilians.
We received a response from COGAT on July 22, 2013, following the maximum extension-period permitted under the act to reply to requests for information. The response enclosed the "Procedure for the transfer of mail between Israel and the Gaza Strip". It also specified two cases in which the sale of goods from Gaza to Israel and the West Bank received approval as exceptions. However, the response also confirmed that no procedure exists for regulating this matter and that the two exceptional cases were approved on an individual basis following special requests made by the Ministry of Defense and the Palestinian Authority.
To read COGAT's response (Hebrew)