When Tel Aviv and Gaza Signed a Sister City Agreement

The idea sounds so far-fetched that it was erased from the collective memory. But, 24 years ago, Tel Aviv and Gaza City signed a sister-city agreement, which generated high emotions. What’s happened to the pact since then?

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Moran Sharir
Moran Sharir
Moran Sharir
Moran Sharir

In January 1999, architect Israel Goodovich took over as Tel Aviv’s city engineer. On his first day in office, whose responsibilities includes overseeing all building and planning in the city he poked around in the desk drawers of his predecessor. He didn’t find much, but one document caught his eye: a “Friendship and Cooperation Agreement” between Tel Aviv, Barcelona and Gaza City. Goodovich recalls his excitement over the document. “I see it and I say to myself, that’s just what there ought to be,” he said earlier this month. “Tel Aviv and Gaza, sister cities, that’s all that you need. It’s not a state, we don’t need the United Nations or anything.”

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