Entrance of goods to Gaza from Israel
In June 2007, Israel began to impose restrictions on the transfer of goods into the Gaza Strip, allowing only the transfer of goods it defined as “vital for the survival of the civilian population”. From June 2007 until June 2010, an average of 2,400 trucks per month entered Gaza from Israel, compared to 10,400 trucks per month that entered Gaza in 2005 – a year in which Israel did not significantly restrict the transfer of goods into the Gaza Strip. After a prolonged legal struggle, at the end of 2010 Gisha received official Defense Ministry documents containing the criteria according to which the closure of Gaza was implemented until mid-2010. Among other things, the documents show that Israel employed mathematical formulas to calculate the basic consumption needs of residents in Gaza and approved “a policy of deliberate reduction” for basic goods in the Gaza Strip.
Since the beginning of 2010, the variety of goods Israel allows into the Gaza Strip has expanded gradually, especially after the events surrounding the flotilla and the Israeli government’s declaration that it would “ease” the closure in June 2010. At that time, Israel published a list of goods prohibited from entering the Gaza Strip, which it defined as “dual use” (suitable for both civilian and military uses) and promised to allow the entrance of all goods that are not prohibited. Since then, the volume of goods entering the Strip increased to some 40% of need as calculated according to figures from 2005.
Since June 2007, Israel has restricted the operation of the border crossings into the Gaza Strip: In June 2007, the Karni Crossing, which served as the main crossing for goods, was closed, leaving only a single conveyor belt in partial service for grain and animal feed (and, since the summer of 2010, also gravel), until it was closed in March 2011. The Sufa Crossing, which served mainly for the transfer of building materials, closed in 2008, and the Nahal Oz Crossing, through which fuel was transferred into the Gaza Strip, closed in 2010. The Kerem Shalom Crossing, originally designated for the transfer of humanitarian goods, became the only crossing for goods into and out of the Gaza Strip. Since the Israeli government’s declaration of changes to the closure policy in June 2010, the Kerem Shalom Crossing was expanded and developed, so that its capacity now allows for movement of about 450 trucks per day, compared to 150 before the June declaration – a volume that is still insufficient to meet the need for goods in the Gaza Strip.