Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria

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The Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria is responsible for the implementation of Israeli government policy in the West Bank. It is a part of the IDF Coordinator of Government Operations in the Territories.[1]


Sharon, Milson and the Village Leagues

In a May 1981 article for Commentary, Israeli professor Menahem Milson wrote that Israel must free the West Bank "from the grip of the PLO".[2]

Later that year, Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon proposed to transfer the non-security aspects of administration in the West Bank to a civilian administration headed by Milson under the Ministry of Defence, in order to meet the terms of the Camp David Accords, which called for Palestinian autonomy. Although Egypt envisaged autonomy as meaning an eventual transfer of sovereignty, Israel envisaged a handover of only limited administrative control.[3]

Israel funded local 'village unions' in the vain hope that leaders such as Mustafa Dudin would prove capable of challenging supporters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the elected institutions envisaged in the Camp David Accords.[3]

Sharon formally appointed Milson to head the new Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria in late October 1981.[4] In reaction to the move some 20 Palestinian institutions including all the larger municipalities in the West Bank, denounced the plan as a swindle, and called for an independent state led by the PLO, with its capital in East Jerusalem.[5]

In late November 1981, the Coordinator of Government Operations in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Dani Mat resigned his position later that month because of his disagreement with the Civil Administration plan.The Military Commander of the West Bank, Col. Ya'aqov Katz, also resigned from his post at the same time, to become deputy head of the civil administration under Milson.[6]

The Washington Post reported on Milson's administration in January 1982:

As an inducement to "those who are not secure when they want to show their support for the peace process," Milson is selectively issuing firearms -- to "moderates."
Meanwhile, the IDF does its "security" number on "those who attack the peace process," which is to say anybody thought to be allied with the PLO. Prominent figures, including mayors, newspaper editors, lawyers, doctors, are regularly subjected to arrest, detention and calculated harassment.[7]

Among the beneficiaries of the Village League funding, was the Islamic Association founded by Gaza-based Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, the future leader of Hamas.[8]

In March 1982, Israeli lecturers were among demonstrators outside Milson's Jerusalem home to protest the closure of Bir Zeit University in the wake of protests there against the civil administration.[9]

The town council of Birah, near Ramallah, was dissolved by the Defence Ministry in March 1982 over its refusal to meet with Milson or cooperate with the civil administration.[10]

In September 1982, Milson resigned from his post in protest at the Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon.[11]




External resources


  1. Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, accessed 9 September 2011.
  2. Arthur Max, Associated Press, 4 October 1981.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Trudy Rubin, West Bank doesn't buy Sharon plan for Arab 'administrators', Christian Science Monitor, 1 October 1981.
  4. Israel: In Brief; Head of West Bank civilian administration, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 21 October 1981.
  5. Israel: In Brief; Expected changes in West Bank a swindle, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 2 November 1981.
  6. Two IDF Officers Resign from West Bank Posts, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 21 November 1981.
  7. Philip Geyelin, Israel Tightens Grip With a Velvet Glove, Washington Post, 12 January 1982.
  8. Sari Nusseibeh, Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life, Halban, 2007.
  9. Ohad Gozani, Troops use teargas to disperse protesters, United Press International, 20 February 1982.
  10. Israeli Authorities Disband West Bank Municipal Council, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 20 March 1982.
  11. Edward Walsh, Israel to Open Formal Probe Of Massacre, Washington Post, 29 September 1982.
  12. David Bar-Ilan, Jerusalem Post, 7 June 1991.
  13. Edward Walsh, Israel to Open Formal Probe Of Massacre, Washington Post, 29 September 1982.
  14. Biography, Ephraim Sneh, M.D., accessed 21 July 2012.
  15. BEIT SAHUR RECONSIDERED, Jerusalem Post, 2 November 1989.
  16. On Levy, Breakthrough in Cairo talks, Jerusalem Post, 16 November 1993.
  17. Liat Collns, MKs hear complaints of thefts in Green Line communities, Jerusalem Post, 22 January 1996.
  18. Arieh O'Sullivan, IDF renews hunt for Hamas fronts, Jerusalem Post, 21 April 1997.
  19. Brigadier General (Ret.) Ilan Paz, Center for American Progress, accessed 27 July 2012.
  20. New Head of Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria,, 4 November 2010.