During the reporting period (September), the Israeli authorities continued to impose closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year and placed tightened restrictions on movement of Gaza Strip residents the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities continued to control entry and exit for pedestrians from and into the Gaza Strip at the Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing, narrowly allowing some categories such as patients with serious diseases and their companions, Arabs holding Israeli ID cards, international journalists, workers of international humanitarian organizations, businesspeople, relatives of prisoners in the Israeli jails, and persons travelling via the King Hussein Bridge.   All of them undergo a very long and complicated process in order to get travel permits and are subject to tightened security measures while traveling through the crossing.

During September, the Israeli authorities at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing obstructed the travel of hundreds of patients referred for treatment in the hospitals in Israel and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities rejected the travel of many patients under several pretexts, including security reasons, changing the companions, delaying responses to the permits and asking for new appointments, and summoning patients for security interviews.

The Israeli authorities continued to impose restrictions on the entry of goods classified as “dual-use items”,[1] which led to deterioration of economic, health and educational situation in addition to the infrastructure.  Furthermore, the Israeli authorities also continued to ban the Gaza Strip exports, except for very limited agricultural products, constituting only 3% of the total monthly Gaza exports before the closure.

 

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[1] The Israeli authorities claim that these items are normally used for civilian purposes but they may have military applications.