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The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is a unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense that engages in coordinating civilian issues between the Government of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces, international organizations, diplomats, and the Palestinian Authority. It is the main organ, remaining of the mostly defunct Israeli Civil Administration, which had governed the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between 1981 and 1994.
COGAT is responsible for implementing the Israeli government's policy in the Area C of the West Bank and vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip. In addition, COGAT constitutes the civilian authority for residential zoning and infrastructure and is responsible for addressing the needs of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Unit constitutes a focal point of knowledge that combines human quality and advanced technology. It coordinates the activities of government departments, I.D.F and security forces vis-à-vis the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The Unit's mission is to promote and implement the policy of the Israeli Government in civilian matters, to facilitate humanitarian issues and economic and infrastructure projects in Palestinian controlled areas of the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. In addition, the unit leads the coordination and liaison with the Palestinian Authority and with the Palestinian population of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
As part of its activities with the international community, the unit facilitates the activities of international organizations active in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip including in matters pertaining to infrastructure, education, health and housing projects and the implementation of humanitarian aid programs.
Through the Coordination and Liaison School, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories also oversee the instruction of Arabic in the IDF and other various security organizations and makes sure that the civilian component is addressed in the training of IDF commanders.
The unit is composed of the following:
COGAT's headquarters are in the Kirya compound in Tel Aviv. The unit headed by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major-General Yoav Mordechai. Also under the responsibility of the Tel Aviv office is the School for Communication and Coordination, which instructs officers and soldiers in foreign relations, Middle Eastern studies, and spoken Arabic.
Ever since the Disengagement, Israeli COGAT activity with regards to the Gaza Strip is carried out by the Coordination and Liaison Administration of the Gaza Strip (headed by a Colonel). The C.L.A is located outside of the Gaza Strip adjacent to the Erez Crossing. The C.L.A is the military unit responsible to coordinate access to and from the Gaza Strip, facilitate activities of the International community and facilitate civilian and humanitarian needs and requirements of the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip with regard to Israel.