Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
24 May 2016


Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza. Many of the current restrictions, originally imposed by Israel in the early 1990s, were intensified after June 2007, following the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the imposition of a blockade. These restrictions have reduced access to livelihoods, essential services and housing, disrupted family life, and undermined people’s hopes for a secure and prosperous future. The situation has been compounded by the restrictions imposed since June 2013 by the Egyptian authorities at Rafah Crossing, which had become the main crossing point used by Palestinian passengers in the Gaza Strip, given the above restrictions on the Israeli- controlled crossings.



• In April, Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel was open for 24 out of 25 scheduled days.

• The number of crossings during April decreased by 11% compared to the monthly average recorded since the beginning of 2016.

• The crossing is accessible only to Israeli issued permit holders, primarily medical and other humanitarian cases, merchants, and aid workers.

• UN Gaza staff permit approval rates have continuously decreased since the beginning of this year.

*The figures reflect number of times people crossed, but not the actual number of people crossing.


• Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt was closed during the whole month of April.

• The crossing has been closed since 24 October 2014, except for 42 days.

• There are at least 30,000 Palestinians registered and waiting to leave Gaza via Rafah, including approximately 9,500 medical cases and 2,700 students.

• Prior to the closure, a monthly average of 4,000 people crossed Rafah for health-related reasons.


• Kerem Shalom operated on 19 out of 25 scheduled days, but for daytime hours only.

• 146 truckloads of goods exited Gaza, a 49% decrease compared to January 2016. Trucks exited to the following destinations:

- 78 truckloads of agricultural products and clothing to the West Bank;

- 29 truckloads of agricultural products and scrap metal to Israel;

- 39 truckloads of agricultural products to international markets.


Kerem Shalom operated on 19 out of 25* scheduled days, allowing the entry of 7,317 truckloads of goods.

The volume of imports this month decreased by 33% compared to the previous month.

Since 3 April 2016, the Israeli authorities have halted the import of cement for the private sector. Cement is still imported for a selected number of pre approved international projects.

32% of the truckloads that entered in April were designated for aid agencies.

3,598 of the truckloads carried construction materials, constituting the largest category of imports (45%). These included 698 truckloads of materials entered via the GRM, defined by Israel as dual use items.

Karni, Sufa and Nahal Oz crossings with Israel remained closed.

Breakdown of goods imported in
April 2016 (in truckloads)

* Primarily includes cement and steel bars, aggregates removed from dual use materials list.
**The GRM is a temporary agreement between the Government of Palestine and the Government of Israel, brokered by the United Nations in September 2014, to allow the entry of dual use items, including building materials for repairs and reconstruction of private housing and infrastructure damaged or destroyed during the hostilities, as well as new projects not related to damages during hostilities. Prior to the GRM the import of construction material was limited to international organizations following a lengthy approval procedure, but not for the private sector or shelter self-help programs.



Kerem Shalom remained the only crossing available for the import of fuel, allowing the entry of:

15.2 million litres of petrol & diesel.

3 million litres of industrial fuel for the Gaza Power Plant.

4,833 tons of cooking gas, which represents around 64% of the estimated needs of around 7,500 tons, according to the Gas Station Owners' Association (Dec 2014 estimate).

Complete document in PDF format (Requires Acrobat Reader)

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter