Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings still closed, access to sea banned by Israel

The Palestinian side of Erez Crossing. Photo by Asmaa Elkhaldi

February 26, 2019. Erez Crossing is closed today, for the third consecutive day, to exit from Gaza other than medical patients and their companions, foreign nationals, and Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. Movement into the Strip from Israel is allowed. Kerem Shalom Crossing is also closed today to transfer of goods in both directions other than entrance of fuel, medicine, and humanitarian aid into the Strip. Israel continues to ban all access to the sea.

The last time Israel closed Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings was in November 2019. Israel routinely restricts access to Gaza’s sea space. It has imposed punitive reductions to the “fishing zone” it enforces in the Strip’s territorial waters twice since the beginning of 2020.

Yesterday Gisha sent an urgent letter (Hebrew) to Israel’s defense minister, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, and the attorney general, demanding that they reverse the decision to close Gaza’s crossings and bar access to sea, immediately.

Gisha emphasizes that deliberate or indiscriminate fire on civilian population centers is a breach of international law, as is the implementation of collective punishment. Israel has an obligation to allow the continued provision of necessities to residents of Gaza and to protect their fundamental right to freedom of movement. We call on Israel to open the crossings and enable access to sea.

     

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