State of the Gaza Strip Border Crossings (01 – 31 December 2017)
During 2017, the Israeli forces continued to impose the closure on the Gaza Strip for the 11th consecutive year and to tighten restrictions on the Gaza crossings for the movement of persons and goods. Regarding movement of persons, 2017 witnessed an increase in the the rate of rejectiing permits granted by the Israeli authorities for specific categories, by which they are allowed to travel via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing. As a result, the number of patients allowed to travel via Erez crossing decreased as well as the number of their companions, traders, relatives of prisoners in the Israeli jails, international organizations’ workers, travelers via al-Karama (Allenby) crossing, persons with personal needs, elderly persons, who are allowed to perform prayers in al-Aqsa mosque, and Christians allowed to spend Christmas holidays in Bethlehem in the West Bank. Concerning goods movement, the Israeli authorities continued to ban the Gaza Strip exports. However, in a limited exception, they allowed to export only very limited products; most of which are agricultural goods. The Israeli authorities also continued to impose tightened restrictions on the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip, claiming that they are “dual-use materials”. The Israeli forces put 118 types of goods on the list of the “dual-use materials”, which include hundreds of basic goods and commodities. Due to the policy of ongoing closure and social and economic strangulation, serious indications emerged at the level of people’s humanitarian conditions. Moreover, the social and economic rights of the Gaza Strip population deteriorated due to the serious and long-term impacts of the Israeli policies that managed to undermine any real opportunity to revive and restore the Gaza Strip economy and its sectors.
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