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This project is funded by
the European Union

Israel 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.

  • Israel and Integrated Maritime Policy

    General presentation: Maritime facs

    Israel has a Mediterranean coastline of about 190 km, bordered by Lebanon in the North and the Gaza Strip in the South. Important cities and ports, such as Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ashdod are located on the Mediterranean coastline and about 70% of the population and much of the industrial and economic activities are also concentrated in this area.

    Israel has a second seafront, a 14 km strip in the Red Sea enclosed within the Gulf of Aqaba.

    Maritime and coastal assets
    Maritime and coastal policies

    Algeria has not yet developed a holistic or integrated maritime policy.

    Israel has not yet developed a holistic or integrated maritime policy, and no national dedicated maritime governance structure exists at the Government level to support the development of a national integrated maritime policy.

    Maritime policy is conducted on sector by sector basis, although in some cases (some ministries, some policy areas) a high level of coordination already exists. Legislation provides for some cross‐cutting measures (e.g. environmental impact assessment for most major projects) but is generally designed in a very sectoral manner. Most traditional maritime activities are based on explicit and well-defined sectoral strategies supported by dedicated sectoral administrations and generally complete legislative frameworks.

    The major exception to this, and a key model for integration in Israel, concerns the approach to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).

    There are three main elements:

    • The Territorial Waters Policy. In 1999, the government adopted a policy document founded on the principles of ICZM, designed to create an effective tool for management and planning of territorial waters.
    • The Protection of the Coastal Environment Law. Covering the territorial waters (to 12 miles) and the land side up to 300 meters inland from the coastline, thus including maritime as well as coastal space within its scope.
    • The Committee for the Protection of the Coastal Environment, established in 2004, is responsible for decisions on coastal development plans. It consists of representatives of several ministries, as well as other representatives (e.g. local representatives or experts). The professional committee is mandated to review every plan falling within the coastal environment according to criteria which are defined in the Planning and Building law and express its objectives.

    International and sub-regional relations: Israel is not a party to UNCLLOS, but is a member of IMO and party to the Barcelona Convention and the 1958 Conventions on the Law of the Sea and sees itself bound to customary international law. Israel has domestic legislation which establishes a 12 NM territorial Sea as well as legislation securing its rights on the continental shelf.

    Outlook on the development of a national maritime policy

    Maritime assets are very important in Israel, and the country has additional potential to develop them.

    This could be done through the development of a national integrated maritime policy encompassing all the country’s maritime areas (Mediterranean and Red Sea) and sectors.

    Various existing policies, administrative structures and plans could form elements of or be adapted for a national IMP, but in particular a national IMP could be built to a large extent upon an expansion, updating and refinement of the territorial waters policy, Protection of the Coastal Environment Law and the Committee for the Protection of the Coastal Environment.

    Various existing policies, administrative structures and plans could form elements of or be adapted for a national IMP, but in particular a national IMP could be built to a large extent upon an expansion, updating and refinement of the territorial waters policy, Protection of the Coastal Environment Law and the Committee for the Protection of the Coastal Environment.

    • Creating an adequate governance structure at governmental level in order to provide the impetus and support for the development of the national maritime policy, possibly in the first instance through the creation of a working group from key ministries;
    • Taking stock of the country’s maritime administration, organization and stakeholders, through a comprehensive mapping exercise at national level involving all maritime stakeholders;
    • Taking stock of the country’s maritime assets (resources, threats and risks, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities), through a comprehensive study at national level involving all maritime stakeholders;
    • Addressing the present gaps in knowledge (availability and accessibility) in the marine and maritime fields.
    • Recently, an inter-ministerial committee, headed by the Ministry of Interior, was established in order to promote Israel's future marine national policy. In these days the committee is working on defining an integrated maritime national vision and objectives.