Israel’s policy on movement of goods to Gaza exposed
September 9, 2011. Today in Haaretz, Amira Hass exposed Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) documents related to the policy governing movement of goods to Gaza since the year 2005. The documents were exposed by defense ministry officials following a court petition under the Freedom of Information Act filed by Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, together with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual. The petition was filed to the Tel Aviv District Court in February 2011 and in May of this year, COGAT gradually began releasing the documents.
The documents reveal the official policy of "economic warfare", as delineated by official sources and decided upon by defense ministry officials. They describe, for example, how COGAT allowed "clean" hummus into Gaza, while hummus with ingredients added, such as pine nuts, was prohibited.
The motivation behind the petition was to promote transparency and public oversight, an ongoing part of Gisha’s work to encourage an educated and honest public debate about Israel’s policy on movement of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip.
To read the guide to the Gaza closure click here.