As peace talks resume: Negotiators must tackle the Gaza challenge as well

August 5, 2013: As Israeli and Palestinian negotiators prepared to meet in the region this week, Gisha released a new report Monday arguing that movement to and from Gaza can and should be increased significantly and immediately, a step essential to advancing a resolution to the conflict.

This principle is in keeping with opening remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week in Washington DC, in which he noted that Israel had agreed to take a number of steps to "improve conditions in the West Bank and in Gaza".

The renewed talks, in conjunction with the current state of affairs in Egypt, render the issue of movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza more urgent than ever and present an opportunity to change Israel's access policy with a view towards securing the full range of interests of both parties. These interests include the territorial link essential to Palestinian statehood and security needs articulated by Israel.

The new report addresses the gap that should be bridged between the current policy of allowing the minimum necessary access, i.e. meeting basic humanitarian needs only, and achieving the maximum possible, meaning what Israel can do to ensure normal life for Palestinians and respect their right to freedom of movement without compromising its own security interests.

The document offers information about movement through the crossing points into and out of Gaza in recent years, an analysis of the data and practical suggestions for moving toward an access policy that conforms with international law and would help create the conditions necessary for a durable peace deal.

To read the report, "The Maximum Possible – A guiding principle for Israeli policy regarding civilian movement into and out of the Gaza Strip", click here.