A body charged with overseeing civilian life in the territories. The DCO is the all-powerful bureaucratic arm of the occupation and, far from sight, it behaves with a violence that is cruel and sophisticated. It occupies a position of absolute power and its authority increases in direct proportion to the extent of its arbitrary behaviour. The DCO is charged with issuing passage permits that let people move around and yet other permits to work or enter Israel. Only if they have such permits (and then only after overcoming certain other difficulties) can Palestinians contrive to leave their own homes and move around the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, get work, stay in touch with their families, get to university, or hospital etc.