The number of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip who manage to secure a permit from Israel and travel through the Erez Crossing continues to drop. Data from August reveals that the decline in the number of Palestinians exiting Gaza, in all categories continued last month. (Exits are mostly for patients requiring medical treatment unavailable in Gaza and their companions as well as merchants.)
Only 6,173 exits were recorded for August, less than half the number recorded during the same month last year (13,477) and nearly only a third of the number of exits in August 2015 (17,800). According to the NGO Gisha: “Freedom of movement is a basic prerequisite for access to health, livelihood, continuing family relations, and personal and professional development, and it is a fundamental right for each and every one of us.”
After 2014’s brutal Operation Protective Edge, Israel slightly expanded the options for movement for both people and goods from the Gaza Strip. However, since then, what had seemed a positive trend has been reversed, and sweeping, indiscriminate restrictions on movement continue to define Israel’s approach to Gaza. Compared to pre-closure data, travel of people and movement of goods remain a fraction of what they were, and certainly a fraction of what they could be.
Download new factsheet published by Gisha providing a visual representation of the changes that have occurred over ten years of closure.