Photo Credit: IDF COGAT
COGAT Major-General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai meets with New York Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, has spent the past few days visiting New York to participate in the AHLC, an ‘ad hoc 15-member liaison committee’ that coordinates development assistance between donors and the Palestinian Authority. The AHLC is chaired by Norway and co-sponsored by the EU and the U.S., and “seeks to promote dialogue between donors, the PA and Israeli governments.”

The Israeli delegation was tasked with presenting the projects and initiatives in Judea, Samaria and Gaza that Israel is interested in promoting for the benefit of all the residents, and to maintain stability in the region and develop it economically.

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During the visit, a meeting took place between the Major General and the New York Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, to strengthen ties with the Catholic Church. Among other things, the two discussed ways to assist the Syrian population in southern Syria through Israel in the framework of Good Neighborhood Project.

The Coordinator also met with Bishop Andrew M. L. Dietsche, head of the Episcopal Diocese of New York on similar matters.

Both clergymen learned that just last week, more than two thousand people (2,086) crossed into Israel from Gaza, and into Gaza from Israel through the Erez Crossing, in addition to 23 ambulance crossings. In addition, there were 1,694 trucks filled with goods and food stuffs that brought deliveries into the enclave last week as well. But the deliveries weren’t all in one direction: almost 300 (287.8) tons of imports were sent out from Gaza as well, through the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

Of course, the ruling Hamas terrorist organization has routinely tried to take advantage of Israel’s attempts to collaborate with the international community for the good of its people.

COGAT inspector caught three rifle butts and a scope smuggled by Hamas in mail being delivered to Gaza, Sept. 11 2017
COGAT inspector caught three rifle butts and a scope smuggled by Hamas in mail being delivered to Gaza, Sept. 11 2017

On September 11, during a regular transfer of mail to the Gaza Strip, three rifle butts and a scope were discovered and confiscated. “The terrorist organization Hamas continues its blatant attempts to smuggle tools of terror in to Gaza,” the IDF spokesperson said in a statement. “Hamas is exploiting Gaza’s civilian populace and Israel’s civilian policy for their agenda of terror.”

This past month the COGAT also teamed with Israel’s Department of Transportation and Israel Railways to create a faster shipping route to the Haifa Port from the Palestinian Authority community of Jenin. The new rail line connects the Haifa railway line from northern Jenin — and thus northern Judea and Samaria – to the port of Haifa, and the rest of the Israel Railways.

The COGAT also coordinated the construction of an electrical substation in Jenin, which was completed in July. This new station will increase the supply of electricity to northern Judea and Samaria. Headed by the Israel Electric Company, the NIS 25 million budget power station is expected to generate around 90 megawatts of electricity for the Jenin area. The maintenance is being run by engineers from the Palestinian Authority, under the auspices of the Ramallah government.

COGAT Major-General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai meets with New York Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
COGAT Major-General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai meets with New York Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
Transfer of three-year-old boy abroad from Palestinian Authority for liver transplant, via Israel, with assistance from COGAT Health Coordinator Dalia Bassa
Transfer of three-year-old boy abroad from Palestinian Authority for liver transplant, via Israel, with assistance from COGAT Health Coordinator Dalia Bassa

Further south, just seven days ago, the Civil Administration coordinated the transfer of a three-year-old Palestinian Authority boy from Bethlehem abroad to receive a liver transplant. The child was being treated in the Hadassah Medical Center in Israel. COGAT Health Coordinator Dalia Bassa completed the child’s transfer abroad.

But meanwhile, as all this is going on, and Israel continues to be pressured into more and more “concessions” to motivate Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to stay with the peace-making process, Israelis are wondering what the Palestinian Authority is doing to extend peace-building gestures in their own direction, especially given recent government-sponsored incitement and the constant violence generated in response. Thus far, Palestinian Authority government media has been amazingly wordless on that score. Nary a mention of how — or even whether — to make peace with Israel, or Jews. Perhaps that deficit should become a focus for talks, first.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.