Five Joint List members of Knesset in letter to Israeli defense minister: Lift punitive restrictions imposed on transit of goods via Kerem Shalom

Kerem Shalom Crossing. Photo by Gisha

On Thursday, five members of Knesset from the Joint List, Heba Yazbak, Ofer Cassif, Sondos Saleh, Jabar Asakla, Aida Touma-Suleiman, sent an urgent letter (Hebrew) to the Israeli defense minister and the acting defense minister, to demand that Israel lift the punitive restrictions imposed on transit of goods via Kerem Shalom Crossing. In the letter, the MKs stated that “the harm caused by incendiary balloons to farmland and vegetation is serious, but the response to it cannot be to deliberately harm the life of Gaza’s residents, who have no connection to these acts.”

The MKs added: “We recall that the population of the Gaza Strip is living in conditions of severe deprivation, mostly as a result of the restrictions and closure imposed by Israel for years. At this time, as far stronger economies around the world face challenges created by the need to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Gaza’s population and economy are more vulnerable than ever. Any impediment to routine operations at Kerem Shalom, the main lifeline for Gaza’s two million residents, threatens its economy and the well-being of its residents, half of whom are children. We urge you to immediately restore full operations at Kerem Shalom and desist from all collective punishment.”