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This project is funded by
the European Union

Palestine and Integrated Maritime Policy

Partner Countries

The project’s approaches at the national level are designed to be flexible; adaptable to a range of interests and capacities; and tailored to the specific needs of Partner Countries...

Specific objectives, needs and goals are developed in close coordination with each Partner Country, and – where Partner Countries express interest- a flexible “Roadmap” approach is to be developed both to structure the delivery of assistance and to define the long term visions and goals for individual Partner Countries.

Specific assistance can be delivered in a variety of forms, including national meetings or workshops between different maritime and coastal policies.

  • Palestine and Integrated Maritime Policy

    General presentation: Maritime facs

    Palestine comprises a short coastline at the Gaza Strip, and the land-locked West Bank. The Gaza coastal environment consists of an open coastline of about 40 km in length, without any islands or major reef areas, and made up of sandy beaches with occasional sandstone outcrops. With the exception of the shallow area off Rafah in the south, the shelf slopes gently from the shore to about 100 meters in depth ten nautical miles off the coast.

    The Gaza Strip is densely populated, the current population estimated to be in excess of 1.5 million, of which approximately one million are UN-registered refugees. Since the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006 and subsequent conflicts, the de facto governance of the Gaza Strip has been performed by the Hamas administration. Israel exercises military and civil control over various parts of Palestine, including the maritime waters.

    Maritime and coastal assets
    Maritime and coastal policies

    Palestine lacks a coordinated maritime policy, with no single organisation having responsibility for the administration of maritime affairs and no national strategy, vision or policy for the maritime sector. There are various organisations which have maritime interests, but they are invariably poorly resourced, lack capacity and frequently do not address maritime issues extensively in policies or strategies. Nevertheless, various strategies and plans exist, including: the National Action Plan for Reduction of Pollution of Mediterranean from Land Based Sources, the Agriculture Strategy, the National Sector Strategy for Water and Waste Water in Palestine 2011 – 2013 and the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Furthermore, the Ministry of Environmental Affairs has established the Coastal and Marine Environmental Protection Committee, as a cross-ministry coordination body.

    As in other areas, a major priority for maritime policy concerns Palestinian aspirations for statehood, and relations with Israel. An Agreement exists between Israel and Palestine Liberation Organization (Cairo, 4 May 1994) that includes agreements on the use and responsibilities for the maritime space off the Gaza coast, but there are disputes about its implementation.

    Outlook on the development of a national maritime policy

    Palestine would benefit from a better defined, more comprehensive and more integrated maritime policy. This could define both a national and international vision for Palestine, as a maritime stakeholder in the Mediterranean, and use specific tools which assist in managing the current maritime space. The first steps towards this are being taken, through the establishment of a committee of senior officials from selected ministries and organisations. The roadmap towards the development of IMP should consider the following priorities:

    • Developing a national vision for maritime policy (including national, regional and global perspectives);
    • Creating an adequate governance structure at central governmental level in order to provide national oversight of the national maritime policy;
    • Improving coordination and consultation amongst all stakeholders as regards the development of policy and its implementation;
    • Addressing the present gaps in knowledge (availability and accessibility) in the marine and maritime fields.