Gisha presents: Graphing 10 Years of Closure

Thursday, September 14, 2017: Ahead of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting in New York early next week, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement is proud to present Graphing 10 Years of Closure, a factsheet comprising six graphs that provide crucial insight into the closure on the Gaza Strip. The graphs reveal information on movement of people through the two crossings currently used for pedestrian travel into and out of Gaza, Erez and Rafah, the movement of goods into and out of the Strip through Gaza’s only active commercial crossing, Kerem Shalom, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP per capita) and unemployment rates in Gaza in comparison with the West Bank.

Since June 2007, when Hamas came to power in Gaza , Israel’s policy of closure on the Strip has undergone shifts and changes, pointing, at best, to a policy in flux, and, at worst, to the lack of a coherent policy. Relative to the most extreme years of closure and particularly since the 2014 military operation, Protective Edge, Israel has allowed some expanded movement of people and goods. At the same time, positive trends have been reversed over the course of the last year and sweeping and indiscriminate restrictions on travel and on movement of goods remain in place. Compared to pre-closure data, travel of people and movement of goods remain a fraction of what they were, and certainly a fraction of what they could be. The operation of Rafah Crossing has also been in flux, and as demonstrated, has been mostly closed since mid-2013.

The factsheet graphs the changes that have occurred over the past 10-plus years, providing context for the changes based on Gisha’s close analysis of policy trends since our founding in 2005. The factsheet demonstrates two important insights: Firstly, despite the continued presence of Hamas in Gaza, changes in policy that were once thought of as anathema did occur, indicating that these elements of the closure policy were bargaining chips rather than necessary to maintain security. Secondly, much more that can be done to lift the closure on Gaza and to ensure residents there their right to freedom of movement. Though dozens of senior Israeli officials have recognized the connection between prosperity and stability, restrictions on movement persist, holding back the economy and crushing hope, and with these, the chances of prosperity for us all.

To view Graphing 10 Years of Closure, click here.