Israel’s Defense Ministry orders new restrictions on civilian goods entering Gaza

  • For the third day in a row, Israel imposes additional restrictions on entry of goods via Kerem Shalom Crossing, the Strip’s only commercial crossing. Medicine, food items, fruit, vegetables and fuel are being permitted to enter. Other items, such as clothing, shoes, and paper are blocked from entering. Export is prohibited altogether.
  • Despite inquiries sent by Gisha to the Israeli army’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, no reason is given for the additional restrictions, and no information is officially available about their scope and the expected length of time they are to be implemented.
  • Erez Crossing has operated according to a “limited format” since June 13. Transit is allowed for medical patients and foreign citizens only. Transit for merchants blocked as of today.
  • Rafah Crossing, between Gaza and Egypt, has been closed since last Wednesday.
  • On Sunday, the Israeli Ministry of Defense reduced the fishing zone along Gaza’s coast from six to three nautical miles. This is the fourth time since Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012) that the Defense Ministry has changed the fishing zone. No reason was given for the restriction.

Officials in Israel from across the political spectrum have rightfully called for individuals not to engage in acts of revenge. It is unjust, unwise, and illegal to promote policies at a national level which do the same and impact millions of people.

The imposition of restrictions on movement of people and goods as a means of inflicting pressure, and more so on a population already undergoing economic hardship, is unacceptable and also prohibited under international law.

Israel is currently engaged in a military operation in Gaza and over the past few weeks rockets have been fired with increasing frequency from Gaza towards Israel. International law requires that both parties to the conflict actively take precautions to prevent harm to the civilian population and it strictly prohibits intentionally inflicting harm on them.

Gisha Executive Director Adv. Eitan Diamond: “Israel has the right and indeed the obligation to protect its citizens, but must avoid causing unnecessary harm to civilians in Gaza in its pursuit of that objective. Actions which disproportionately harm the civilian population in Gaza and have no concrete security objective are strictly prohibited by international law and are utterly unacceptable”.