The need for those courses has increased, following requests from the field to improve the level of the Arabic language spoken by those who maintain daily contact with the Palestinian population. Every week, trainees arrive to COGAT's Coordination and Liaison School from diverse units and bodies, such as: The Military Police, the Israeli Navy, the Crossings Authority and Israel Police, all of whom maintain direct contact with the Palestinian population.
"This training is important and essential", says the Head of the Antiques Trade Branch in Judea and Samaria, Naftali Isaac, who participated in the course for staff officers in the Civil Administration. "Within the framework of my function I frequently meet Palestinians and the additional knowledge I acquire here will be very useful for me during our contacts and the purpose is being assisted in the field when contacting your Palestinian counterpart". The courses' duration is between a week to a month and they are especially intensive courses, which include exams, simulations and vocabulary enrichment and phrasing improvement and phrases related to pertinent contents required on a daily basis.
The population officers' course as well take place at the school at the same time. The population officers' course is a relatively new IDF course and it was created due to the need to cope and coordinate with the civilian population in combat areas. The officer who arrive from combat battalions and regiments should know how to properly treat the civilian population also during operational activities in their respective areas.
Up till now, six population officers' courses have taken place at the Coordination and Liaison School, and since the Arabic language is the main field tool, this is a key matter within the framework of their training and it's essential for their missions and appropriate performance of their functions. "The carrying out of the liaison activities between the army and the civil population is part of the coping efforts that take place in the field, and this course is intended to provide us with the tools that are essential for those said coping efforts", says one of the course cadets. "This function evolved as a result of past lessons and it's intended to bring the liaison activities that are being constantly carried out within the different DCLs to the field".
Over the coming months, the Liaison and Coordination School will continue to work on the advancement of this program and on the expansion of its related activities to other IDF units, and later to combat units as well.