This report, which is a part of a
series of reports, released by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
addresses the state of Gaza
border crossings used for the movement of individuals and goods between 16
October 2010 and 20 February 2011. It highlights the impact that the now five
year-long siege (imposed by the Israeli Occupation Forces, IOF) of the Gaza
Strip has on civilian lives and their economic and social conditions. However,
Israeli occupation authorities claim to have alleviated the imposed siege
mid-2010. The report also discusses developments relating to IOF policies from
January 2011 to 20 February 2011 and their impact on the Gaza Strip’s civilian
population.

 

During the preparation of this
report, PCHR expressed grave concern over the continued suffering of thousands
of Gazans who have been stuck in various countries across the globe and are
unable to return to Gaza for longer than one
month due to the emergency situation in Egypt
and the ban imposed on Palestinians’ access to Egypt
via Cairo Airport. PCHR called upon President
Mahmoud Abbas to intervene promptly and take serious action to end the
suffering endured by stranded Palestinians, instruct Palestinian embassies
abroad to assume their responsibilities towards them to alleviate their
suffering as well as to exert utmost effort in order to ensure their swift
return. PCHR also called upon the Egyptian authorities to permit the return of
stranded Palestinians as soon as possible, facilitate their movement to the
Gaza Strip through Egypt and
to take measures necessary to ensure the freedom of Palestinian’s movement to
and from the Gaza Strip, especially via Rafah International Crossing Point and Cairo International
Airport
[1].

 

The year 2010 witnessed the
continuation of the unjust siege imposed on various aspects of life in the Gaza
Strip; tightening the land and sea siege and total control over Gaza‘s airspace. IOF
continued to impose its ban on the free flow of goods to and from the Gaza
Strip, including imposing a nearly total ban on the importation of construction
material and many other basic goods that may contribute to growing the
Palestinian economy. Last July, in an attempt to delude the international community,
Israeli occupation authorities claimed that they facilitated the movement of
goods to the Gaza Strip through increasing the quantity and quality of goods
allowed in. However, facts on the ground show that the authorities of the
Israeli occupation seek to institutionalize the siege and make it
internationally accepted. Although the occupation authorities increased the
quantity and quality of goods allowed into Gaza,
the majority of these goods are food commodities and luxury items already delivered
in huge quantities to Gaza from Egypt via the
tunnels. Civilians in Gaza
cannot buy these items due to the deterioration of their economic and living
conditions. No fundamental change has been witnessed regarding the total siege
imposed on Gaza.
IOF continues to impose its ban on the delivery of basic goods, especially
construction material required for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip which also
formed 65 percent of Gaza’s
imports in the past. IOF’s ban on the importation of raw material 
required for the production and
revival of the Palestinian economy and pushing development forward.



The full report is available here.



[1] For more
detail, please see the PCHR press release published on 27 February 2011, Ref:
7/2011.