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Op-Ed video: Israel's Cogat procedure codifies a system of exclusion and oppression

The Cogat procedure, which came into force last year, was carefully designed to maintain the occupier's control over Palestinians, argues columnist Dania Abul Haj

Israel is creating a coercive environment designed to strengthen and entrench its occupation of the West Bank, says Palestinian lawyer Dania Abul Haj.

The latest Cogat procedure, which came into force late last year, is designed to further Israel's military control and make it difficult for diaspora Palestinians to teach, study, volunteer, work or live in the occupied West Bank.

Cogat refers to the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories and is the body that has run Israel's activities in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1981.

Last year Israel introduced a new set of procedures, collectively named Cogat 22, which "severely infringe family rights; curtail economic, social and cultural rights to the detriment of Palestinian self determination; and discriminate against Palestinians and foreigners on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity," Abul Haj said.

"The procedure is the latest in a long line of policies designed by Israel to create a coercive environment aimed at transferring Palestinians out of the West Bank.

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"It is also one of many countless policies and practices which Israel uses to strengthen and entrench its occupation in an ongoing process of incremental annexation of the West Bank."

Dania Abul Haj is a qualified Palestinian lawyer from Jerusalem, she currently works as a legal officer at the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians in London. She holds an LLM in International Law from the University of Edinburgh.
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