State of the Gaza Strip Border Crossings (01 – 30 April 2021)
Coinciding with the ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip, the Israeli authorities continued its illegal and inhuman 14-year closure on the Gaza Strip.
Before the beginning of the offensive, the Israeli authorities tightened the closure on the Gaza Strip and completely closed the one and only commericial border (Kerem Abu Salem), banning the entry of the commodities and goods essentialto the Strip. Moroever, they closed Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing and allowed only humanitarian cases. Also, they completely closed the Sea and banned fishing.
The consequences of the closure negatively affected the provision of basic services to at least 2 million Palestinians living in dire conditions in the most densely-populated area in the whole world. However, Gaza Strip’s Electricity Distribution Company announced that the whole Strip will lack electricity as the only power plant is about to shut down due to the closure of Kerm Abu Salem and running out of the fuel necessary for its operation. The shutdown of the power plant will have serious implications on the basic services provided to citizens, as the hours of power outage will increase to more than 20 hours per day, and potable water supply will be cut for long periods. Also, sanitation and sewage treatment services will be suspended and untreated sewage water will be pumped into the sea.
Moreover, the power outage for long hours in health facilities will adversely affect heath services needed by the Gaza Strip population, especially in light of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip and the hospitals and Intensive Care Units (ICUs) that are overcrowded with hundreds of wounded persons due to the Israeli airstrikes. The death toll since the beginning of Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip has mounted to 143, including 40 children and 22 women, and total number of injuries has risen to 655, including 194 children and 154 women. Furthermore, the power outage negatively affects operation of laboratories and blood banks by failing to do the required laboratory tests, especially in light of the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Gaza Strip. The total number of coronavirus cases in the Gaza Strip is 105861, including 99254 recovered, 5624 active cases, and 983 deaths. Among active cases: 108 receive special health care at hospitals; 84 of them are in serious and critical health condition.
Also, the Israeli closure caused a true humanitarian crisis and a catastrophic situation for thousands of families, as it is the direct cause of high unemployment, poverty and food insecurity rates, as the Gaza unemployment rate is 46% (i.e. 211,300 are unemployed), 63% of which is among youth. Also, the poverty rate reached 53%, and more than 62.2% of the Gaza population suffers from food insecurity according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The Gaza Strip economy has incurred heavy losses due to the 14-year long Israeli closure. Economic facilities have suffered from tight restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities on the entry of goods classified as “dual-use.” The dual-use items are essential to the life of the population; hence, the restrictions on their entry contribute to the deterioration of infrastructure and the deterioration of economic, health and education sectors.
This report covers the state of the Gaza Strip border crossings in April, before the current Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip.
 IOF Airstrikes Severely Damage Gaza’s Electricity Distribution Network: Power Plant Shutdown Threatens Basic Services for the Gaza Population, issued on 14 May 2021 https://pchrgaza.org/en/iof-airstrikes-severely-damage-gazas-electricity-distribution-network-power-plant-shutdown-threatens-basic-services-for-the-gaza-population/
 Israeli authorities claim that these items, although used for civilian purposes, could be used to develop the combat capabilities of the Palestinian armed groups.