COGAT – Right to Entry


On 20 October 2022, the new procedures for entry and residence of foreigners in the ‘Judea and Samaria area’ (i.e. the Occupied West Bank) issued by the Israeli Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (‘COGAT’), went into effect. 

The new procedures (‘COGAT22’), initially issued in February 2022 and revised in September following numerous objections, contain provisions which impose extortionate charges on visitors; allows for surveillance; curtails investment and trade; and are fundamentally illegal given the nature of Israel’s occupation of the area. Israel, as an occupying power in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (‘OPT’), cannot act as a sovereign over the OPT or the Palestinian people. COGAT22 is a clear attempt to further Israel’s control over the OPT.  

COGAT22 completely discriminates against nationals or people born in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain and South Sudan, who are excluded from applying for visas that would allow them to enter the OPT, but for exceptional and humanitarian circumstances. COGAT22 extends to British citizens who are dual nationals with one of the above listed countries, or who were born in those countries. 

UK Government Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Advice  

The UK Government’s foreign travel advice has been updated to reflect the COGAT22 provisions and provides a link to the provisions contained in Israel’s Government website.  

The FCDO provides the following advice to British nationals of Palestinian origin: 

If you are a British national of Palestinian origin (on the Palestinian Population Register or holding a Palestinian ID number), you will need a Palestinian passport or travel document in order to leave. If you are a British national with a Palestinian name or place of birth but without a Palestinian ID number, you may face problems. A number of British nationals of Palestinian origin or British nationals married to Palestinians have been refused entry to the country.” (Our emphasis) 

The guidance is incomplete, vague and fails to protect British nationals travelling abroad. We call upon the FCDO to object to COGAT22; amend the advice to British nationals of Palestinian origin; and ensure that the diplomatic missions in both Tel Aviv and East Jerusalem provide support for British nationals travelling through Israeli controlled crossings, including providing a contact point and documenting the mistreatment of British nationals at these borders. 

Take Action 

Sign the petition to Parliament here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/620891 

For more information about the right to entry campaign, see here: https://www.righttoenter.ps/