A complex series of concrete walls, electronic fences, and other obstacles to control Palestinian pedestrian and vehicular movement. Palestinian access to land and communities located behind the Barrier is subject to a permit or prior coordination regime. In its 2004 Advisory Opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) established that the sections of the Barrier which run inside the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, together with the associated gate and permit regime, violate Israel’s obligations under international law.
It is no longer possible to redress the issue of the blockage of the horizon of the peace talks with the same means and methods that have been repeatedly tried and proven unsuccessful over the past years. The crisis is far too deep to be neglected, and what is more dangerous are attempts to simply circumvent it or postpone its explosion. It is neither possible, nor practical, nor acceptable to return to conducting business as usual, as if everything is fine. It is futile to go into negotiations without clear parameters and in the absence of credibility and a specific timetable. Negotiations will be meaningless as long as the occupation army on the ground continues to entrench its occupation, instead of rolling it back, and continues to change the demography of our country in order to create a new basis on which to alter the borders.
The Erez Crossing (מעבר ארז) is a civilian entry point into the Gaza Strip. It consists of a series of large concrete building and caged corridors which function as a pedestrian/cargo terminal on the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier, located in the northern end of the Gaza Strip. It is part of a complex formerly including the Erez Industrial Park. The crossing is currently restricted to Arab residents under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and to Egyptian nationals or international aid officials only. The complex reportedly cost more than $35 million to construct.
The following list is approximate and partial, and it changes from time to time. It is based on information from Palestinian traders and businesspersons, international organizations, and the Palestinian Coordination Committee, all of whom “deduce” what is permitted and what is banned based on their experience requesting permission to bring goods into Gaza and the answers they receive from the Israeli authorities (approved or denied). It is not possible to verify this list with the Israeli authorities because they refuse to disclose information regarding the restrictions on transferring goods into Gaza. It should be noted that Israel permits some of the “prohibited” items into Gaza (for example: paper, biscuits, and chocolate), on the condition that they are for the use of international organizations, while requests from private merchants to purchase them are denied.
On April 28th, the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish IHH organization, announced that it intended to sail a flotilla to the Gaza Strip on May 24th. This date was later delayed until the end of May. The stated goal of the flotilla, dubbed “The Freedom Flotilla”, is to bypass existing humanitarian aid channels and to make port in the Gaza Strip, despite Israeli maritime restrictions which exist in the region. This is the fourth flotilla launched by the organization.
WHO Report: Right to Health in Occupied Palestinian Territory, August 2009.
The main driver of Palestinian food insecurity is of a political nature, as key elements of vulnerability are rooted in the military and administrative measures imposed by the Israeli occupation – closure regime, permits, destruction of assets – as well as settlement expansion and derived infrastructure multiplication – access to land and water, bypass roads, etc. Soaring food prices, falling incomes and growing unemployment are jeopardizing the livelihoods of Palestinians, leading to heavy debt and changes in family eating habits. Previously self-reliant families are progressively falling into the poverty trap and are unable to escape from their situation in the absence of job opportunities. Furthermore those with work are facing increasing difficulties to manage due to unadjusted salaries, a degrading economic environment and high dependency ratios.
Take a moment to imagine yourself in a day in the life of a Palestinian woman. A life in which she lives in constant terror, fearing for not only her own safety but that of her loved ones, as fighter planes and tanks shell and bomb civilian areas, bringing more death, destruction and trauma to her people and community. A life in which she has been displaced and made homeless because her home- the symbol of safety for her and her family- and all of her life’s belongings are callously demolished to make room for another illegal Israeli settlement built on her land. A life in which she must stand for hours at one of the racist, humiliating checkpoints, waiting for a young Israeli occupying force to decide whether or not to allow her to pass through one of the more than 600 checkpoints as she tries to accomplish the simple task of going food shopping or going to an appointment at the doctor, or even for something more urgent such as the delivery of a newborn. Or a life in which she must watch her children wither from malnutrition, anemia and disease and her family sink deeper into poverty, becoming totally dependent on food aid because of the deliberate and systematic practices and polices of the occupying Power.
The continuing crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, the growing restrictions on the movement of people and goods and the worsening violence continue to affect the social and economic life of Palestinians, with consequences for their health status and access to health services. Deaths and injuries resulting from the occupation and the internal conflict increased during 2007 and continued to rise in the first months of 2008.
This document has been prepared by the Palestinian National Authority’s Ministry of Planning with support from all line ministries, UN agencies, the EC, the World Bank and other partners. This plan will be used to consolidate resources and responses to help the Palestinian people in Gaza rebuild their lives and livelihoods, and as such will form the basis for mobilizing resources and efforts at the international conference in Egypt on March 2, 2009 and provide the guiding framework for all early recovery and reconstruction interventions.
The scope of PLO/PA authority in the field of trade policy and therefore in trade relations with third parties is circumscribed by the terms of the Interim Agreement, signed by the PLO/Israel in Washington on September 28, 1995. (1) The relevant parts of the Agreement which together form the legal basis for the PA’s relations with third parties are found at Article IX and in the Economic Protocol at Annex V. (The Economic Protocol, which defines the Israeli-PLO/PA economic relationship, was signed in Paris on April 29, 1994 and subsequently incorporated with modifications in the Interim Agreement as Annex V.)
Palestine lies on the western edge of the Asian continent and on the eastern extremity of the Mediterranean Sea. Its territory comprises two parts – the West Bank, a landlocked area bordered by Israel and Jordan, and the Gaza Strip, bordered by Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. It covers an approximate area of 6,165 km2 (5,800 km2 in the West Bank and 365 km2 in the Gaza Strip).