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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘COGAT’

COGAT: Erez Crossing Closed Monday

Monday, October 31st, 2016

The Erez Crossing between southern Israel and Gaza will be closed on Monday from 11:45 am until 2 pm, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Sunday.

The IDF will be carrying out a general military exercise during that time, the COGAT said.

The Erez crossing is used for the passage of human traffic between Israel and Gaza, including medical patients, employees of international humanitarian aid organizations and diplomats.

Hana Levi Julian

Pro-Israel Students Penned-in “like Warsaw Ghetto” on UK Campus

Friday, October 28th, 2016

An Israeli speaker’s talk at a London college campus scheduled for this week was canceled on Wednesday. Why? Because, according to the cancelation notice sent by the student union, “there had been controversy” when he spoke at the campus two years prior, and the hosting organization failed to disclose that when the room was booked for the talk.

After cries of suppression of speech and vehement protests, the university stepped in and “un”canceled the talk. Hen Mazzig’s talk at University College, London, was reinstated. It would take place, as scheduled, on Thursday evening, Oct. 27.

The response by the anti-Israel mob was swift and the attack was vicious. A protest was called. Outside the room where Mazzig was scheduled to speak, livid demonstrators screamed for murder and the end of Israel. “Intifada, Intifada!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” They barred the entrance to the talk while pummeling the doors and windows, leering malevolently. Two thugs yanked open a window, hurling themselves into the room, launching several students inside into panic attacks. A woman inside kept repeating: “This is like the Warsaw Ghetto!”

UK protesters barreling through the window at Hen Mazzig event

UK protesters barreling through the window at Hen Mazzig event

Anti-Israel students yelling and banging on windows at Hen Mazzig UCL event. Oct. 27, 2016

Anti-Israel students yelling and banging on windows at Hen Mazzig UCL event. Oct. 27, 2016

The prelude and the coda of this minuet reveals volumes about the campus wars being waged against anything Israel these days.

Let’s start at the beginning: Hen (pronounced Khen, with the throat-scraping sound most non-Israelis find unpronounceable) Mazzig is a 27 year old Israeli who completed his army service four years ago. Since that time Mazzig has been speaking to audiences, especially on U.S. college campuses, about Israel. Mazzig is an educator who wants non-Israelis to understand his tiny country and his fellow countrymen. He is soft-spoken with a recognizable, but comprehensible, Israeli accent.

When Mazzig first started speaking to college students back in 2013, he was shocked by the vitriol directed against Israel by some American college students, professors and community members. Even Jewish ones.

In 2013, Mazzig wrote an epic cri de coeur, calling on American Jews to “Wake Up!” He was horrified to learn that Israel’s enemies are not just the hostile Arab nations surrounding his tiny country. “It is also here in America, where a battle must be waged against prejudice and lies. I implore American Jews to do more.”

This time around Mazzig is more sanguine about the atmosphere on U.S. campuses. He told the JewishPress.com that he is “happy that I was able to bring my voice into the conversation, to help raise  awareness.”

There is now ample funding to fight the scourge he urged Jewish leadership to recognize a few years back, the movement known as BDS, Mazzig told the JewisPress.com.  But the recognition of BDS as a symptom of the underlying illness is still too attenuated, including by Jewish leadership. “BDS is only a symptom of the disease which is the same old hatred – anti-Semitism.”

That hatred of Jews and, by extension the Jewish state, is what fuels BDS and other symptoms is made clear by the response to Mazzig in London last night.

The original effort to shut down Thursday night’s speech was based on a “controversy” surrounding a talk he gave in 2014 at Kings College, London. But that controversy was one created solely by anti-Israel protesters, not by Mazzig. In fact, the video and public statement posted by the protesters reveal that disrupting Mazzig’s talk and the walkout were planned in advance. The protest was not about anything Mazzig said — it was about the fact that any former IDF soldier was allowed to speak on campus at all.

Again at Thursday night’s event the protest was fueled simply by anti-Israel animus. Pro-Israel female students were assaulted on their way to the event. Many who sought entrance to the speech were barred by the protesters, those who gained admittance were prevented from leaving without a choreographed police escort.

But here’s the rub: while the haters did their best to prevent him from speaking, they did so without realizing that in his message and in his essence, Mazzig is the ultimate slayer of untruths about Israel.

For one thing, Mazzig’s family hails from Tunisia and Iraq – he is one of those “brown bodies” people love to claim Israel oppresses. For another thing, Mazzig was an openly gay commander in the Israeli army, where being gay raises no eyebrows, let alone scaffolds. Next on the list: Mazzig served in the COGAT unit. COGAT works with the Palestinian Authority to coordinate activities in order to improve the lives of the Arabs living in the territories.

During his IDF service Mazzig focused on protecting everyone, “coordinating humanitarian aid, and tending to the needs of civilians” living in the territories, Jewish and Arab, he explained. Mazzig and his unit worked feverishly “in a special operation conducted in the middle of the night” to unite an Arab Gazan orphan with an uncle in Ramallah, so that the boy “would not be left alone on the streets of the Gaza Strip.”

And the title of Mazzig’s speech at UCL, back in 2014? “The Hope for Peace: Promoting Peace While in Uniform.”

When the thugs were pounding on the doors and windows and shouting that Mazzig is a “murderer,” they were, albeit unknowingly, attempting to silence a speaker who understands Israel in ways they really must prevent the world from learning about. Otherwise, anyone who is not automatically a hater will realize that the throngs of illiberal thugs attempting to block free speech are the real roadblocks to peace.

Speaking from London following the event, Mazzig told the JewishPress.com:

I was standing in the room, trying to calm the Jewish students, while the mob outside was banging on the doors, on the windows, and calling for intifada. I knew this was not normal, nobody should have to endure this.

But neither Mazzig nor his talk’s sponsor, the media watchdog group CAMERA, were deterred.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israel Announces Heavy Fines for Gaza Smugglers

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has instructed the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to ramp up oversight of materials entering the Gaza Strip. Major General Yoav Mordechai, commander of COGAT, said Thursday that the order was given in order to prevent raw materials requiring security clearance from reaching the Hamas-led canton.

“Any attempt to smuggle dual-use materials into Gaza without coordinating the shipments with [Israeli] security officials raises strong concerns that the materials are willingly being provided to terror operatives,” said Mordechai in a statement Thursday. ”The only goal these groups have is to harm the security of Israeli civilians. The responsibility for [preventing] smuggling does not only fall on the people ordering the materials, but also on [Israeli] companies and on truck drivers who transport the material that is intended for terrorism into Gaza.”

Liberman also said that companies that help smuggle materials into the Strip will be fined. At least one telecommunications firm has been advised that it will be fined hundreds of thousands of shekels for attempting to smuggle communications and fiber-optic cables. Defense officials believe the materials were intended for terror elements in the Strip.

Up to now, prohibited materials were confiscated at Gaza entry points, and truck drivers received warnings. The new policy was adopted following consultations with COGAT, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the Land Border Crossings Authority of the Defense Ministry, Israel police and legal scholars.

The new policy calls for stiff penalties against all levels of the smuggling chain, from company administrators down to truck drivers. Possible sanctions include impounding trucks used for smuggling attempts, including the cargo. Fines for smuggling could reach approximately NIS 1 million (US $261,730). Used car parts will also be banned from the Strip, after security forces discovered parts in shipments that could be used to build a 4X4 jeep to be used by terror groups.

“We will hit back strongly and will not allow anyone to avoid responsibility. [We will try to ensure that] aiding terror simply does not pay,” Mordechai added.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Holiday Closure Begins at Palestinian Authority, Gaza Crossings

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

A routine closure that takes place for each Jewish holiday begins at 00:01 am Sunday and is to continue until Tuesday night at 11:59 pm.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown on Sunday evening and ends an hour after sundown on Tuesday night.

The length of the closure and its conditions will change only in the case of a “situational assessment,” according to the IDF Spokesperson’s office.

As always, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) will consider exceptions for ‘humanitarian cases’ and medical emergencies, the IDF said.

The closure, which takes place due to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, is the first since June, which was carried out for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks.

Hana Levi Julian

Mahmoud Abbas, Leader of Palestinian Authority, to Attend Peres Funeral in Jerusalem

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas submitted a request to Israel on Thursday for a permit to attend the funeral of former President Shimon Peres, set for Friday.

The request was sent to the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that of IDF Maj.-General Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). In that role, Mordechai is also commander of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.

The request was officially authorized by Netanyahu, his office said in a subsequent statement to media.

Abbas expressed his “sadness and sorrow” Wednesday in response to hearing of the elder statesman’s death, and sent a letter of condolence to his family, WAFA reported.

“Peres was a partner in making the brave peace with the martyr Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Rabin, and made unremitting efforts to reach a lasting peace from the Oslo Agreement until the final moments of his life,” Abbas wrote, according to WAFA.

The government led by Abbas, however, issued a completely opposite obituary about the 93-year-old former president, saying he was responsible for the “deaths of Palestinians” and committed “many crimes.”

Hana Levi Julian

Gaza Businessman Admits, “Hamas Funds Terror Infrastructure in Judea and Samaria”

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

A businessman from Gaza with an entry permit to Israel and Judea and Samaria told the IDF under questioning on Wednesday that he had transferred USD 50,000 in cash from Hamas officials in Gaza to those in Hebron, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) revealed on Thursday evening.

According to Hamas’s own media reports, the businessman in question, Bashir Muhammad Yunus Mustafa, was apprehended at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza by the Israeli Crossing Authority and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

Mustafa, a resident of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, held a permanent permit issued by COGAT that allowed him to cross over freely from Gaza into Israel and to enter Judea and Samaria. According to COGAT, such permits are issued by the Israeli government for humanitarian reasons and in order to facilitate free trade between Gaza and the Palestinian Authority controlled territories.

According to COGAT Spokesperson, Hadar Horn, Mustafa was released after his questioning. “He has a heart condition,” was Horn’s explanation for the immediate release.

An Israeli security official revealed to Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the Hamas terror organization has its own so-called “crossings unit.”. According to our source, one of the purposes of this unit is to identify Gazan residents who have entry permits into Israel or crossing permits into Judea and Samaria for either humanitarian or business reasons and to then approach these individuals and recruit them to serve as “mules” for their money-smuggling operations.

“It is very likely that this businessman is a decent and innocent man, but it’s a bit hard to say no to Hamas,” the security source told TPS.

Hamas is outlawed as an illegal terror organization in Israel, the United States, and the European Union. The organization contains a political and military faction that are the de facto sovereign in the Gaza strip.

Israel’s security and intelligence bodies over the past few months have apprehended several individuals who had legal entry permits to Israel and who used them to transfer large sums of money to Hamas operatives outside of Gaza.

“Terrorist groups take advantage of these [entry] permits for illegal purposes such as the financing of terrorism,” a Shin Bet spokesperson stated. “The money was destined for Hamas cells operating in Judea and Samaria. Hamas took advantage of Israel’s willingness to issue humanitarian permits to Gazans.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Sick Gaza Lioness Brings Israeli, Hamas Officials Together

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Written by Jesse Lempel In a surreal scene at the border between Israel and Gaza, a 440-pound lioness was hoisted by a crane on Monday and sent through the border into Israel.

The eight-year-old lioness was forced to leave her home in Gaza’s Rafah Zoo in order to receive urgent medical treatment in the Palestinian Authority city of Tulkarem in Samaria.

The rescue mission was jointly run by the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Hamas-run Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza. It was the latest in a string of Israeli-Hamas collaborations to rescue Gaza’s ailing lions.

Another lion was rescued from the Rafah Zoo last month, also passing through the Erez Crossing en route to Tulkarem, in a collaborative mission that COGAT dubbed “Operation Peace.” In the last year and a half, four other lions and two cubs have been evacuated from Gaza through Israel.

Many animals in Gaza zoos suffer from severe malnutrition and inadequate living conditions. Four Paws, an international aid organization devoted to animal welfare, has conducted several emergency missions to Gazan zoos — in Rafah, in Al Bisan, and in Khan Younis.

“There are now only 21 animals left in Al Bisan Zoo in northern Gaza,” the group’s website reported in February. “The others have died due to starvation.”

Samuel Saias contributed to this report.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/sick-gaza-lioness-brings-israeli-hamas-officials-together/2016/04/12/

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