Introduction

1. In mid-June
2007, Israel tightened their closure policy on the Gaza Strip, as part of a
decade’s long effort to control the economy of Gaza and the movement of its
people.  It must be emphasized that this
was just the latest effort by Israel to issue a form of collective punishment
against the Gaza Strip. 

 

2. In 2006, in spite of the Agreement on Movement and Access,
which entered into force on 25 November 2005,[1]
Israel continued to tighten its restrictions on the movement of people and
goods from and to the Gaza Strip, further pursuing a policy begun in 1991
.
 This included closing the border
crossing to Egypt.  Their efforts
escalated further into a total closure in mid-June 2007, so, f
or five years, this
most extreme form of closure has been applied to the so-called ‘hostile entity’
that is the Gaza Strip, cutting off 1.7 million individuals from the outside
world.

 

3. As part of the
closure policy, Palestinians are, as a rule, prevented from entering or leaving
the Gaza Strip, while severe restrictions have been placed on the import and
export of goods, including fuel, food, construction materials, and medical
supplies.  The results include: severe
shortages of essential items and materials; increasing unemployment, poverty,
and aid dependency; and the de-development of the Gaza Strip.

 

4. The purpose of
this briefing paper is to show the continued effects of the closure.  The effects of Israel’s closure of the Gaza
Strip will not abate unless the institutionalization of the closure is stopped.  As the situation currently stands, it is
international organizations provide the assistance necessary for the
Palestinian people to survive, despite Israel’s obligations as an Occupying
Power. 

 

5. On the fifth
anniversary of the illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, it is clear that Israel
cannot be allowed to continue to place restrictions on the movement of goods
and individuals.  It is clear that the
humanitarian crisis has not abetted in the Gaza Strip, despite the work of many
international and non-governmental organizations.  Unless the closure is lifted, it will be
impossible for the people of the Gaza Strip to rebuild their lives, and to
secure their fundamental human rights. 
As a result, it is an unfortunate truth that donors will continue to
fund the closure, alleviating Israel of its responsibility as the Occupying
Power, and allowing the institutionalization and perpetuation of a regime of
collective punishment.


The full report is available online here.







                [1] Agreement on
Movement and Access, 15 November 2005.