August 3, 2015
The Order regarding Monitoring of Security Exports (Controlled Dual Use Equipment Transported into Areas under Palestinian Civilian Authority) 5768-2008 (Hebrew) stipulates what materials may not be brought into any area within the Palestinian Authority – the West Bank and the Gaza Strip –without a specific permit.
On March 4, 2015, the order was officially amended (Hebrew). The amendment, signed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, contains a new, extensive list of materials prohibited from entry into Gaza only (unless a specific permit is issued). The list contains a total of 104 items that may not be brought into the Palestinian Authority unless there is a specific permit to do so.
Because of the importance of this information for a large segment of the Palestinian population, international organizations and Israeli merchants and suppliers, and due to the impact the prohibition has on Gaza’s reconstruction post-Operation Protective Edge, Gisha contacted (Hebrew) the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and asked that the amendment be posted on its website in Hebrew, Arabic and English. COGAT is the official body charged with regulating the movement of people and goods between Israel and Gaza, and hence, has an obligation to publish the laws and regulations that govern its activities, particularly when it comes to an official state order.
In its response, dated July 21, 2015 (Hebrew), COGAT refused to take action to post this important information on its website with translations into Arabic and English, claiming that official publication in state records in Hebrew was sufficient.
Given this response, Gisha contacted the Arabic Records Department in the Ministry of Justice, asking for assistance in translating the order into Arabic. Fortunately, the director of the department, Adv. Khaled Kabha gladly took on the assignment. Gisha received the Arabic translation of the order (Arabic) on August 3, 2015, and it is now available on Gisha’s website to all interested parties, including West Bank and Gaza residents.
Gisha regrets the fact that COGAT has yet to internalize its role and refuses to take the necessary action to have all the laws, orders and regulations governing its activities posted to its website in the language spoken by the majority of the population for which its activities are intended – that is, Arabic. Gisha will continue its work to have all information relating to the Gaza Strip published and for the advancement of transparency and public engagement.