State of the Gaza Strip Border Crossings (01 -31 August 2019)
During the reporting period (August), the Israeli authorities continued to impose their closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year along with tightened restrictions on the crossings surrounding the Gaza Strip, contrary to the Israeli claims of easing restrictions on the movement of persons and goods. Further, the Israeli authorities continued to control entry and exit for pedestrians from the Gaza Strip at the Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing as they narrowly allow some categories such as patients of urgent cases and their companions, who both undergo a very long and complicated process in order to get travel permits and are subject to tightened security measures while traveling through the crossing. During August, the Israeli authorities at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing obstructed the travel of 572 patients referred for treatment in the hospitals in Israel and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities rejected the travel of many patients under several pretexts, including security reasons, changing the companions, delaying responses to the permits and asking for new appointments, and asking patients for security interviews.
The Israeli authorities also continued to ban the Gaza Strip exports, except for very limited quantities; most of them were agricultural products. In August, the exports recorded a decrease rate of 42.2%, comparing with June while they recorded 1.7 % of the total monthly Gaza exports before the closure. Further, The Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on the entry of goods classified as “dual-use items”, which include around 118 types and hundreds of basic goods and commodities.