Access Kit: A guide to procedures and protocols which regulate access
March 2016. The State of Israel restricts travel to and from Gaza through its own territory. The procedures used by the Israeli authorities, which detail the specifics of the restrictive travel policy, impact the lives of Gaza residents both directly and indirectly, including by reducing their access to livelihood, academic studies and other opportunities outside the Gaza Strip. The procedures also limit travel into Gaza by foreign nationals, affecting Gaza’s development and its ties to the international community.
Most procedures are not published in Arabic, and Gaza residents, as well as foreigners wishing to enter Gaza and their counsel are not aware of their existence. As a result, people who contact the Israeli authorities do not know by what procedures they should file their applications, and by what criteria these applications are denied or approved. They often lack the correct forms or the list of required documents and are unfamiliar with the appropriate filing procedures.
Gisha is an Israeli human rights organization dedicated to protecting Palestinians’ right to freedom of movement, particularly Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. After a decade of providing legal aid to Gaza residents in an effort to protect their right to freedom of movement, we have decided to share the information, knowledge and experience we have gained over the years with pertinent audiences who can make use of the information: Palestinians, foreign nationals, and journalists. This document was written with a view to enable residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Israelis and foreigners who wish to exercise their right to freedom of movement to successfully engage the Israeli authorities on their own. At this juncture and in the following document, we’ve decided to focus on protocols and procedures related to the following categories: entrance to Israel of merchants and those classified as Businessmen from Gaza (BMG); exit of students abroad; travel from Gaza for consular services; travel from Gaza for conferences, trainings and meetings, and; entrance of foreigners to Gaza.