COGAT Holds Conference for International Organizations at the Gaza CLA

 

The Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) held a conference yesterday attended by diplomatic delegations in Israel,  diplomatic representatives in Ramallah and international organizations operating within the Gaza Strip. The goal of the conference was to strengthen cooperation and coordination with these organizations, and to present the challenges that Israel faces regarding Gaza.

 

 

Yesterday, (11.07.17) the Gaza CLA invited important and influential international organizations operating in Gaza for the welfare of Palestinians to a special conference near the Erez Crossing. The goal of the conference was to strengthen the cooperation between the IDF and the international organizations working within Gaza, and to present Hamas’ terrorist threats against Israel. By doing so, it will improve the quality of life for Gaza’s residents, who are greatly supported by these organizations.

 

The distinguished list of those attending the conference, from both international organizations and the IDF, attested to its importance. The conference was attended by senior officials of the IDF—among them Head of the Southern Command Major General, Eyal Zamir; Head of the Gaza CLA, Colonel Faris Attile; and the Deputy Commander of the Gaza Division, Colonel Guy Biton. From the international organizations, the conference was attended by 65 representatives from 38 different organizations and diplomatic delegations—among them the Head of UNRWA in Gaza, Mr. Bo Schack; Head of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza, Mr. Guislain Defurne; and the French Ambassador to Israel, Amb. Hélène Le Gal. These impressive appearances proves that the cooperation between the IDF and the international organizations in Gaza have great potential, with the largest beneficiaries being the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip.

 

Throughout the conference, that was described by the participants as important and positive turnout, the Head of the IDF’s Southern Command presented a summary of the security threats in the Gaza Strip and explained Israel’s military activity in the area. Afterwards, the Head of the Gaza CLA presented the civil aspects of the situation in Gaza, and explained how Israel acts in the face of this complex reality. At the end of his speech, there was a an open discussion involving interesting questions and responses, after which all the participants in the conference went to the field in order to see the civilian situation on the Israeli side.

 

 One of the important features of the conference was the tour of one of the offensive tunnels that belonged to the Hamas terror organization. This tunnel was revealed by the IDF in 2014 before Operation Protective Edge. The intended terror tunnel leads to an Israeli kibbutz that could have been used by Hamas terrorists to carry out detrimental terror attacks against innocent civilians.

Khaled Shahwan, Deputy of the Special Representative of the UNDP, said that, “The main focus of this conference is how the UN and international community can give further assistance to Gaza, and how we could facilitate better cooperation with the Israeli authorities in order to get more supplies into the Gaza Strip for the Palestinians.”

When speaking with staff from COGAT, the Head of the Gaza CLA, Colonel Faris Attile said, “We work closely with international organizations operating in Gaza to assist the residents. Strengthening cooperation and ensuring efficient work interfaces are critical to the success of our activities and their activities in Gaza. Remember, on this side, we are working to help Gazan residents when the terror organization, Hamas, makes continuous attempts to take advantage of civilian assistance for purposes of terror without any consideration for the population.”