|State of the Gaza Strip's Border Crossings (01 – 31July 2011)|
|Wednesday, 10 August 2011 00:00|
This report documents the impact of
the ongoing Israeli-imposed closure on the economic and social conditions of
Palestinian civiliansduring the reporting period. The report addresses the state of commercial
crossings and crossings designated for the movement of persons during the
reporting period. The following arethe
most significant developments relevant to
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue to impose restrictions on the Gaza Strip's commercial crossings, including having complete control on the import of basic items and raw materials, which do not meet the minimum needs of the Gaza Strip's population.
Data included in this report shows that over a year
afterIsrael’s claims regarding the alleged easing of the closure imposed on the
Gaza Strip, using Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing as
Karm Abu Salem crossing was closed for 10 days (32.25%) during the reporting period. The number of truckloadsthat entered via the crossing reached 4,443; this is a dailyaverage of less than 143 truckloads, representing 25.08% of the average prior to imposing the closure in June 2007 when there were 570 truckloads daily.
The cooking gas crisis has been underway for nine months due to the limited operational capacity of Karm Abu Salem crossing. In July, IOF halted cooking gas supplies for 11 days. However, the limited quantities that entered reached approximately 3,239 tons; a daily average of 104.4 tons representing 52.2% of daily needs that reach 200 tons daily in summer.
For four years, IOF have continued to impose a complete ban on the entry of construction materialinto Gaza for the private sector with the exception of the limited quantities of construction material for international organizations in Gaza; 37,824 tons of construction aggregate,8,017 tons of cement and 1,635 tons of construction steel for international projects in the context of the alleged easing of the closure declared by IOF over a year ago.
Although over a year has passed since the declaration by IOF that it would allow the entry of 60 vehicles daily into the Gaza Strip, it continues to procrastinate in implementing this without providing any reason. IOF allowed the entry of only 168 vehicles during the reporting period. As a result, vehicle prices continue to rise.
IOF have continued to reduce the number of patients allowed to travel to hospitals in Israel and/or Jerusalem and the West Bank for medical treatment. The number of patients allowed to travel via Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing reached 886 in July, an average of 26 patients daily, representing 52% of the patient average in the first half of 2006. However, 84 patient applications representing 8.6% of the total number of applications encountered many problems, such as complete application rejection, changing the companion and conducting an interview or setting a new date for the interview with security officers at the crossing. As a result, most were denied to travel or their medical treatment was delayed. In addition, 45 international journalists, 78 diplomats and 742 workers of international humanitarian organizations were allowed to enter Gaza often under complicated procedures, resulting in several days of delay for many of those allowed to enter.
The crossing was closed to businesspeople for 10 days. During the days it was open, 1,290 traders were allowed to travel via the crossing; a daily average of less than 42 traders. This is a sharp decline in comparison to the number of businesspeople allowed to travel via the crossing prior to June 2007, when 150 traders daily were allowed to travel via the crossing (24.6%).
For over 50 months, IOF have prevented the families of approximately 700 Palestinians from Gaza detained in Israeli jails from visiting their imprisoned relatives without any clear reason. This is in violation of international humanitarian law.
In spite of the Egyptian declaration in late May 2011 that Rafah International Crossing Point would be open thousands of Palestinians, who met the conditions included in the easing, were not able to travel via the crossing pointdue to Egyptian authorities limiting the number of travellersallowed to cross. There were large numbers of persons wishing to travel after five years of being unable to do so. The number of persons who registered to travel at the Border and Crossing Commission amount to more than 30,000, whilst the daily average of people travelling to Egypt reached 614 on the crossing point’s working days (25 days). As a result, there was disorder at the crossing, resulting in the crossing's administration modifying travel dates several times. During the reporting period, 15,355 persons travelled to Egypt, 18,050 entered Gaza while 403 persons were turned back by Egyptian authorities according to the Border and Crossing Commission.
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