The Unit for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is responsible for coordination and liaison with the Palestinian Authority and serves as a major source of information for the Palestinian sector. The unit reports to Israel's Minister of Defense and to the Major General of COGAT, who is a member of the IDF's General Staff. Major General Ghasan Alyan has served as COGAT’s Coordinator since May 2021.
The unit’s activities include the promotion of humanitarian projects, advancement of the Palestinian economy, and development of infrastructure in the territories. COGAT also works with international organizations to improve the standard of living for Palestinians residing within these regions.
An additional component of the unit is the School for Coordination and Liaison, which trains and educates COGAT’s soldiers, commanders, and officers in the following subjects: Islam, English language, Arabic language, government, culture, history, economy, citizenship, and humanitarian issues. The school’s courses operate in collaboration with the IDF at large and educate participants to prepare them for the challenges they may face during their service.
Fields of Activity
Civil Coordination - This branch is responsible for creating and maintaining relationships with its Palestinian counterparts in the Palestinian Liaison, as well as working directly with the Palestinian population of Judea and Samaria. Additionally, representatives from the Civil Coordination Department work in cooperation with representatives of the Palestinian Civil Committee in the Gaza Strip for the welfare of the residents living in that region. These activities are conducted in correspondence with representatives of the Palestinian Liaison to bring attention to the following needs for Palestinian residents: medical treatment in Israel, transfer of medical equipment, trade and economic development, and arrangement of joint professional conferences in areas of medicine, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and more. In addition, the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and the Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) for the Gaza Strip operate centers for the issuance of entry permits into Israel, as well as 24-hour humanitarian centers to respond to applications and requests for information from the Palestinian population and the international community.
Security Coordination - In Judea and Samaria, there is constant security coordination between Israeli security forces (such as the IDF and the Israeli Police) and the Palestinian security forces. Maintaining security coordination is essential for both sides as these forces help preserve the stability of the security situation in Judea and Samaria. Both sides collaborate constantly in meetings, seminars and joint training exercises to strengthen and improve security cooperation in order to maintain stability throughout the region.
In regards to the Gaza Strip, all security coordination was immediately suspended after the 2007 takeover by the Hamas terror organization. Security coordination was halted in accordance with government policy, resulting in a transition to a framework that is limited strictly to the coordination of civil matters. All coordination in Gaza is conducted through the Palestinian Civil Committee, which represents the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip.
International Organizations - The division for coordination and liaison with international organizations works in close cooperation with representatives of the international community operating in the region with the goal of promoting foreign-funded projects for the welfare of the local Palestinian population. Upwards of 200 international organizations operate in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip. Among these are: various U.N. agencies, governmental aid agencies, and non-governmental international organizations. The international community's support is expressed mainly in the following fields: budgetary support for the Palestinian Authority, building and strengthening professional skills among the Palestinian population, and the advancement of infrastructure projects in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
The School for Coordination and Liaison - This division is responsible for training and preparing soldiers, commanders, and officers for their work in the disciplines of coordination and liaison within the COGAT Unit. During the course of their training, students receive the necessary tools and knowledge in order to provide professional assistance to the populations they will work with in the field. The training program includes courses in a variety of subjects: Islam, Christianity, English and Arabic languages, interpersonal communications, civil coordination, and international organizations.