Community life

Community life

The occupation looks different in Areas A, B, and C. This is what it looks like in Area G, Gaza, where Israel: Back

Regulates who gets to go to band camp over the summer

In 2012 and 2013, children studying at the only music school in Gaza were represented by Gisha’s legal department in the hope of receiving permits to allow them to participate in a five-day long music summer camp in the West Bank. In 2012, Israel only approved exit permits for 19 of the children, the oldest of whom was 15. It took another struggle to obtain permits for their accompanying teachers. The year after, 47 children petitioned to go to the music camp. At first, Israeli authorities announced that only 30 of them would be allowed to leave Gaza. The music school teachers refused to choose which of the young musicians, all of whom had prepared all year for the event, would be denied access to the summer camp. Following the threat of media attention and a letter from Member of Knesset Zehava Gal-On, all 47 children and five accompanying teachers were eventually able to attend camp in the West Bank.


Influences life decisions for women in Gaza

Israel maintains almost complete control over the Palestinian population registry. In 2000, Israel stopped allowing Palestinians to add first-degree relatives who had moved to the West Bank or Gaza to the registry. This has particularly impacted thousands of Palestinian women from the diaspora who married Gaza residents and moved to the Strip. Many of them have no identifying documents which would allow them to exit the Strip, whether through Israel or through Rafah Crossing into Egypt. (See, page 57).


Doesn’t count vacation as an acceptable reason to grant an exit permit

The restrictive criteria according to which Israel permits travel in and out of Gaza do not include vacationing abroad (and certainly not in the West Bank or Israel). Most Gaza residents have never been outside of the Strip.


Impedes cultural ties with the West Bank

Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and those living elsewhere in the world, including Israel, have a shared history and culture. Maintaining these cultural ties became much more difficult when the closure was imposed. Israel occasionally allows Gaza residents to travel in order to participate in conferences or special events, but only ones held under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority. Any cultural event in the West Bank or Israel that is not sponsored by the Palestinian Authority does not meet the criteria for travel, and therefore does not warrant an exit permit for participants from Gaza.


Harms the work of civil society organizations in Gaza

Gaza is home to a vibrant civil society that helps support the local population in many different ways and includes organizations that assist people with disabilities, cultural centers, and organizations that promote women’s rights. Israel’s travel criteria prevent members of civil society from traveling to trainings and deny donors and experts entry to Gaza, thus preventing them from helping to improve the work done by civil society organizations.


Undermines academic programs through control of entrance of goods

Natural sciences programs at Gaza universities require various chemical and biological substances. Other equipment is also needed in research labs, as well as medical and engineering programs. In many cases, Israel considers these items “dual-use” and prevents their entry into Gaza. In addition, power outages harm research labs and many experiments are shut down as a consequence. Equipment required for uninterrupted power supply (UPS devices) is also included on the dual-use list.


Prevents academics from traveling abroad to conferences or inviting colleagues to Gaza

Academic development requires participation in conferences, where researchers network and exchange ideas. Israel’s criteria for travel out of Gaza exclude participation in academic conferences and training. Israel also denies foreign researchers entry into Gaza.


Controls Gaza residents, while they have no real way of influencing its decisions

Residents of Gaza and the West Bank are impacted by the actions and decisions of the Israeli government both directly and indirectly, but cannot vote in elections for the Israeli institutions that implement these policies.


Blocks 3G, i.e. you can’t watch YouTube from your cellphone

Israel continues to control Gaza’s electro-magnetic space (as well as the West Bank’s), and does not allocate 3G and LTE frequencies to Gaza. This does more than just interfere with user experience in Gaza, it also obstructs the developing high-tech industry.


Forbids Gaza residents from studying in the West Bank

Israel has banned Gaza students from attending universities in the West Bank since 2000, despite the fact that some programs offered there are not available at universities and colleges in Gaza. The High Court of Justice has rejected several petitions brought by Gisha on behalf of students, including a petition Gisha filed in 2012 on behalf of five women who aspired to study programs not offered in Gaza (gender, law and development, and democracy and human rights).