[News] Latest developments of the state of the Gaza Strip

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 26 10:33:45 EDT 2016


  Human Rights: new report by PCHR, March 2016 - PNN

costa silveira


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) published a new report as 
part of the series of the monthly “Closure Reports” addressing the 
latest developments of the state of the Gaza Strip border crossings in 
March 2016.

The report documents the impact of the ongoing Israel-imposed siege on 
Palestinian civilians, which affects their economic and social 
conditions. It also refutes Israel’s claims that it has eased the 
closure of the Gaza Strip for the ninth consecutive year.

Furthermore, the report highlights that the continuing Israeli measures 
aim at the institutionalization of the closure and making the illegal 
restrictions imposed on the movement of persons and goods acceptable on 
the international level although they violate the international law, 
including the international humanitarian and human rights laws.

During the reporting period, the number of truckloads that were allowed 
to enter the Gaza Strip increased; however, no remarkable change was 
witnessed on the commercial level.

Israeli occupation forces allowed the entry of 17,241 truckloads, the 
majority of which were foodstuffs and consumables; an average of 556 
truckload daily.

Restrictions were also imposed on the entry of a number of basic goods, 
especially materials needed for Gaza reconstruction, infrastructure 
projects and materials for manufacturing and production.

Moreover, many obstacles were imposed on the entry of imports, including 
the frequent closure of the only commercial crossing in the Gaza Strip, 
Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom); the crossing was closed for 9 days (29% 
of the total period).

In a later step, the IOF prevented the entry of construction materials 
for the private sector in Gaza city.[1] As a result, hundreds of private 
under-construction housing projects stopped in addition to other 
Reconstruction projects carried out by the private sector for the same 

Stopping construction works in these projects will aggravate the 
suffering of civilians who are desperate need of building their houses 
and facilities.

This will also inflict heavy losses on the private sector’s companies 
due to stoppage of work and increase the already high unemployment and 
poverty rates among the workers and their families.

Concerning the exports, the IOF continued to impose a ban on the Gaza 
Strip exports to the occupied West Bank, Israel and abroad with the 
exception of limited quantities.

During the reporting period, 100 truckloads were allowed for exportation 
to the occupied West Bank, including 87 truckloads of agricultural 
products, a truckload of fish, 4 truckloads of furniture, 3 truckloads 
of cloths and 5 truckloads of scrap.

The rate of the Gaza Strip exports for March constitutes 2.2% of the 
exports before June 2007.

As for the movement of persons, the Gaza Strip population has been 
denied their right to the freedom of movement and has been suffering due 
to obstacles imposed on their movement at all border crossings that 
connect the Strip with the West Bank and Israel.

Moreover, during the reporting period, the IOF imposed severe 
restrictions on the movement of Gaza population at Beit Hanoun (Erez) 
crossing, the only crossing for the movement of persons to the West 
Bank, including Jerusalem, and/or Israel.

As a result, 2 million people have been denied their right to the 
freedom of movement. A limited number of Palestinians were allowed to 
travel via the crossing: 1,440 patients, 1,330 patient companions.

Furthermore, the IOF arrested 3 patients who were on their back from 
hospitals in which they were transformed to receive treatment. Those 
patients suffer from serious diseases and could not found a cure in the 
Gaza Strip hospitals.

The IOF also allowed 8,477 business people, 828 persons for personal 
needs, 755 workers of international humanitarian organizations, 204 
persons travelling via al-Karama crossing, 595 elderly people to perform 
prayers in al-Aqsa Mosque and 415 Christians to travel via Beit Hanoun 
(Erez) crossing  under very complicated procedures resulting in 
prolonged waiting periods, sometimes up to several days.

It should be noted that these statistics do not express the number of 
people allowed to travel as the number permit holders is far less than 
the passing times.

The permit holder is allowed to travel more than one time via the Beit 
Hanoun crossing.

Israeli authorities also allowed 595 elderly persons to cross the 
crossing for performing the Friday prayer in al-Aqsa Mosque in addition 
to 415 Christians in light of complicated security measures..

During the reporting period, Rafah International Crossing Point was 
closed during March for 31 days. This unveiled the reality of the 
situation in the Gaza Strip under the policy of collective punishment 
and the Israeli closure imposed over all border crossings, especially 
Beit Hanoun crossing.

The number of Palestinians, who registered for traveling via the 
crossing and are waiting for their turn to travel, was over 25,000, in 
addition to thousands of Palestinians who want to travel but did not 
registered for traveling according to the Ministry of Interior in Gaza.

In the report’s recommendations, PCHR called upon the international 
community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth 
Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time 
of War, to immediately intervene to compel Israeli authorities to open 
the Gaza Strip crossings and put an end to the grave deterioration of 
humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

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