Crossings

Crossings

The occupation looks different in Areas A, B, and C. This is what it looks like in Area G, Gaza, where Israel: Back
03

Employs collective punishment

Israel has often shut down land crossings in response to rocket fire aimed at Israel, denying movement to all residents of Gaza.

05

Decides who is allowed to worship at holy sites

Until 2015, Israel allowed only Christian residents of Gaza to travel for worship at holy sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank during holidays. In 2015, permission was also given to Muslims to travel to Jerusalem for prayer, but only on Fridays and only a quota of 200 people weekly who are over age 60. Less than 5 percent of Gaza’s population is over 60 years old. The permission was rescinded in late 2016.

13

Limits dreams

Israel allows travel out of Gaza according to narrow criteria that most residents of Gaza do not meet. Dream of studying to become a pastry chef in the West Bank, or perhaps a veterinarian in Italy? Would you like to participate in a conference for women’s empowerment in Japan, the marathon in Bethlehem, or maybe a music competition in the UK? None of these ambitions are deemed worthy by Israel’s standards and would not warrant a permit to exit the Gaza Strip.

21

Determines which strawberries weather the journey out of Gaza

Kerem Shalom Crossing is the only crossing through which farmers and traders from Gaza can transport their goods out of Gaza for sale in Israel, the West Bank or abroad. Goods are screened at the crossing, in a process that takes hours and throughout which they are kept outdoors. Fragile produce, such as strawberries, may become damaged to the point of being completely ruined. Recurrent requests from Gaza farmers and from Gisha to facilitate appropriate shading in the area of the crossing where goods are unloaded and screened have remained unanswered for years. Farmers from Gaza have repeatedly reported that produce has gone bad by the time the screening process finished.

23

Lets you travel abroad, if only you promise not to return for a year

Israel has been denying Gaza residents transit abroad through its territory for almost 20 years. When Gaza residents are able to transit through Israeli territory, they exit via Allenby Bridge border crossing into Jordan, or, very, very rarely, through Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. Permits to do so are given in exceptional circumstances only. In 2016, Israel issued a new directive, according to which residents of Gaza would be allowed to travel abroad through Israeli territory for purposes other than studying, attending special conferences or getting special medical treatment, on condition they agree not to return to Gaza for a year.

25

Classifies many Gaza residents, including medical patients and children, as security threats

Only a small percentage of Gaza’s residents meet Israel’s criteria for requesting a permit to exit Gaza. Those who do, undergo individual security screenings. Over the course of 2016, Israel made unprecedented use of a “security block” claim to deny thousands the right to travel, including patients in need of life-saving treatment that isn’t available in the Gaza Strip, elderly residents wishing to worship at al-Aqsa Mosque, women, children, established traders, and local staff of international organizations. To demonstrate just how arbitrary these blanket restrictions are, in several cases, when media coverage or a threat of legal action was pursued, the supposed “security threat” vanished and Israel allowed individuals previously blocked to travel.

29

Conditions access on collaboration

Israel uses its control over the land crossings to pressure Gaza residents to supply information on members of their communities. Residents understand that should they fail to provide the information, the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) interrogators may deny them exit, even if they need life-saving medical treatment. The ISA has been known to interrogate inside ambulances transporting patients.

44

Harms the economy

As of March 2017, there are 1,173 valid trader permits and 190 senior businessman permits (BMG), compared to 3,600 permits which were valid in January 2016. Apart from barring many traders’ access to Israel and the West Bank, Israel has also banned some of them from bringing in or selling products. In other words, not only are the traders treated as suspect without having been proven guilty, so are their goods, despite the fact that all goods undergo meticulous screening at Kerem Shalom Crossing.

49

Decides what kind of postal services Gaza residents can receive

Israel controls postal services to and from Gaza, whether provided as a public service by the Palestinian Authority or by private companies like Aramex. It has taken the liberty of suspending and limiting these services in the past.