State of the Gaza Strip Border Crossings (01 – 31 December 2018)
The Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip continues for the 12th consecutive year. As for the movement of persons, since the beginning of this years, the percentage of refusing permits granted by the Israeli authorities to categories allowed to travel via Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing, has increased. As a result, the number of patients allowed to travel via the crossing was decreased. Moreover, the number of patients’ companions, businesspeople, relatives of prisoners in the Israeli jails, workers of international humanitarian organizations, persons travelling via al-Karama crossing, people with special needs, and elderly persons allowed to perform prayers in al-Aqsa mosque, were decreased as well.
Concerning goods movement in 2018, the Israeli authorities imposed more restrictions on the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip and issued successive decisions to tight the closure on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities completely closed Kerm Abu Salem Crossing, the sole commercial crossing in the Gaza Strip, and banned the entry of fuel, gas, goods and basic needs for the Gaza Strip population, in response to flying kites and firing balloons by Hamas towards the buffer zone along the Gaza strip.
During the reporting period (December), the Israeli authorities intensified the restrictions on the commercial crossings as they imposed restrictions on the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip and banned the exportation of all goods from the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities.
As for the Crossings for the movement of persons, the Israeli authorities continue to impose tight restrictions on the movement of the Gaza Strip residents through Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing, narrowly allowing the travel of limited categories such as patients and their companions, Arabs holding Israeli ID cards, international journalists, workers of international humanitarian organizations, businesspeople, relatives of prisoners in the Israeli jails, and persons travelling via al-Karama crossing.
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