Gisha presents: 50 facts that prove Israel still controls the Gaza Strip

Wednesday, June 7, 2017: To mark ten years of closure on the Gaza Strip and 50 years since its occupation by Israel, Gisha has launched a new interactive website, 50 Shades of Control, promoting a better understanding of the scope of Israel’s continuous control over the lives of almost two million residents of the Strip.

The implementation of the disengagement plan in 2005 created the illusion that Israel’s relationship with the Gaza Strip had ended, and many still believe it signified the termination of Israel’s responsibility toward Gaza’s residents. However, Israel continues to have significant influence over many aspects of daily life in the Strip, maintained through the numerous restrictions it has imposed on Gaza for decades, and more stringently so since 2007.

The fifty items comprising the list featured on the new website illuminate some of the ways in which Israel still wields control over diverse aspects of life in Gaza. Israel not only prevents almost all travel between Gaza and the West Bank, and between Gaza and the world, but also dictates what goods can exit or enter the Strip, how much of them, and when. Israel alone holds the power to decide whether materials and equipment that are essential for maintaining, repairing and expanding Gaza’s collapsing infrastructure will enter the Strip; it severely restricts the entry of these items, which are also necessary for the operation of hospitals and schools as well as the development of industry and business. Israel decides which patients are lucky enough to travel out of Gaza to receive life-saving medical treatment that is not available there; stops residents from traveling to marry outside the Strip; controls Gaza’s electro-magnetic space, limiting the development of hi-tech; prevents students in Gaza from studying in the other part of the Palestinian territory, and; denies unification of children who have lost a parent in Gaza with their other parent in the West Bank. And the list goes on…

Israel has legitimate security concerns and a right to individually screen people entering its territory. Yet, it is evident that no real effort has been made to balance Israel’s security concerns with its obligation to enable normal life in Gaza, as a result of the restrictions it imposes on the Strip. Ten years on, it is abundantly clear that the closure on Gaza has failed to achieve its political goals and security objectives. Israel’s policy does nothing but undermine the efforts of a civilian population trying its best to survive in acceptable circumstances. The continued closure causes unnecessary suffering and defies Israel’s self-professed logic that Gaza’s economic recovery and hope there would be beneficial for Israeli security in particular, and for stability in the region as a whole.

Link to 50 Shades of ControlHere.

In a PDF format, for your convenience: Here.

For more information on the closure, Read: Gaza Up Close