Without a strong civil society, it will be hard to achieve regional stability

"The separation policy, which separates the different parts of the Palestinian territory, and movement restrictions between Gaza, the West Bank and the rest of the world significantly affect the work of the organizations”, Mohsen.

“The separation policy, which separates the different parts of the Palestinian territory, and movement restrictions between Gaza, the West Bank and the rest of the world significantly affect the work of the organizations”, Mohsen.

May 11, 2016. Salah Mohsen, Gisha’s research department director, was interviewed yesterday (Hebrew) on Israeli Channel 10 news show London and Kirschenbaum, about Gisha’s latest report on the challenges faced by civil society organizations operating in Gaza, in light of Israel’s separation policy.

“The separation policy, which separates the different parts of the Palestinian territory, and the movement restrictions between Gaza, the West Bank and the rest of the world significantly affect the work of the organizations”, Mohsen said in the interview. “They can’t send representatives to professional trainings in the West Bank or abroad, and they can’t travel to Ramallah to meet decision-makers or potential donors. They also cannot ensure the participation of children in music events or sports tournaments, and there are plenty of other examples [for the difficulties they face]”.

“Gaza has dozens – if not hundreds – of civil society organizations working in different fields. Our study is extensive and even unprecedented, and is based on in-depth interviews and focus groups held with representatives of over 32 organizations in the Gaza Strip, from different fields. The study shows the enormous extent of the work being done by those organizations: from providing medical tests for diagnosing illnesses and campaigning for improvement in the status of women in their society, to providing professional assistance in developing and starting small businesses.”

“As all senior security officials and even senior political figures are saying: It’s extremely hard to achieve stability in this region without a thriving and stable civil society, and without providing hope and the option of a normal life in the Gaza Strip. What needs to be done is a reversal of the current policy: instead of allowing only a limited group of permit holders to leave Gaza – all Gazan residents should be allowed to leave, subject to individual security screenings”.

To read Split apart – Gisha’s study on civil society organizations, click here.

For the full interview (Hebrew) (starts at minute 21:00)