Rafah Crossing open for nine days in November

Rafah crossing. Photo by Gisha

Rafah crossing. Photo by Gisha

November 30, 2016. Rafah Crossing was open for nine days over the course of November. Exit was allowed on seven of these days, helping to reduce the waiting list for exiting Gaza, but Palestinian sources say there are still 17,500 people on it. The crossing is expected to open again in early December.

In early November, a conference to discuss the situation in Gaza was held in Cairo, and Rafah Crossing opened for two days to allow dozens of participants from Gaza to travel to and from the conference.

The crossing opened for five more days (November 14-18), for travel by individuals who meet Egypt’s travel criteria. During these days, 2,654 exits from Gaza were recorded at the crossing and 1,519 entries into Gaza from Egypt. The crossing opened again for one day toward the end of the month to allow several dozen people to travel to another conference, and opened again to allow them to return several days later.

Rafah Crossing has operated on only 42 days since the beginning of the year. This is a slight improvement over 2015, when the crossing opened for only 32 days.  During the first 11 months of 2016 about 3,300 crossings were registered per month on average in both directions. This is an improvement from 2015, when the monthly average was 2,400, yet still far from the more than 40,000 crossings during the first half of 2013.