Security blocks restricting travel through Erez Crossing

News and Press Release
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 1,550 permit revocations of 3,500-3,700 trader permits granted
 160 permit revocations of 350 “Businessman Gaza” (BMG) permits granted to prominent businesspeople in Gaza, including 2 of the 4 BMG permits granted to women
 21% rate of permit denial for UN national staff based in Gaza in June; an increase from 3% in January
 75% increase in the number of cancer patients who turned to PHR-I for assistance after their permit requests were rejected

Erez Crossing is the primary crossing for nearly 2 million residents of Gaza, connecting them to medical care, professional opportunities, and family in Israel and the West Bank. Given the ongoing closure of Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt, Erez is also increasingly important as a transit point for Gaza residents seeking to travel abroad. Narrow criteria and quotas guide the decision-making process about who can and cannot travel through Erez Crossing. The policy on access itself is a result, as Israel says, of both political goals as well as security considerations about individuals wishing to travel.
Since the 2014 military operation, there has been an increase in the overall number of crossings via Erez, though the rate of travel is still just 3% of what it was in the year 2000. Nonetheless, we note with concern an alarming new trend of the Israeli authorities blocking travel for thousands of people on the basis of unspecified “security preclusions”, an increase in interrogations taking place at the crossing, and instances of the authorities turning people back from the crossing even after they have received a permit to travel. These practices violate human rights and run counter to Israel’s stated policy goals. The following fact sheet summarizes Gisha’s research on the topic and our recommendations for reversing this egregious and harmful practice.