Development of Israel’s civilian and economic policies in the Occupied Territories over the first decade of the occupation is documented in the records of The Committee of Director Generals on Civilian Matters in the Territories. Akevot Institute is now making all of these minutes available online.
The Committee of Directors-General on Civilian Matters in the Territories Administered by the IDF is the long-winded name for a committee set up by a government resolution shortly after the Six Day War ended. Members of the committee included the directors-general of all government ministries. Its task was to serve as the administrative body responsible for the implementation of government policy on civilian and economic matters. “The Directors-General Committee”, as it came to be nicknamed, convened for its first session on June 15, 1967, and likely continued to operate until the late 1970s. It was chaired by the Director-General of the Ministry of Finance and coordinated by the military officers appointed to the position of Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
The committee handled all civilian and economic aspects of Israeli control in the Occupied Territories: building Israeli, local and joint factories in the Occupied Territories, taxation, labor conditions, education and welfare, industry and commerce and the like. Journalist Reuven Pedatzur commented that while the role of the committee was essentially administrative, its members did engage in policy design. This was a result of avoidance on the part of government ministers to make decisions on many issues related to the Occupied Territories and of cooperation between members of the committee.
To mark a decade of operations, the committee prepared an internal document, classified “confidential”. It contained some 1,270 pages of minutes of its meetings along with some of the background documents it received. These minutes document a significant part of the development of Israel’s civilian and economic policies in the Occupied Territories over the first decade of the occupation. Only a few copies of these volumes were printed and a handful of individuals kept them. These documents are important primary sources for anyone interested in Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and its development since the beginning of the occupation fifty years ago. Akevot Institute is now making all of these meeting minutes available to the public, in downloadable pdf files by year.