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Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
21 October 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.



• Opened on all of the 26 scheduled days.

• The overall number of crossings this month was 18% below the monthly average since the beginning of 2016.

• 56% of permits for business people were approved, including the renewal of permits.

• More than 36% of permits for medical referrals were denied or remained pending; the denial rate for national UN staff from Gaza stood at 41.3%

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

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


Exceptionally opened for 10 days for pilgrims exiting to, and returning from, Mecca for the Hajj, as well as a for a small number of humanitarian cases.

• Since October 2014, the crossing has been closed on all but 65 days.

• At least 27,000 people are registered and waiting to leave Gaza via Rafah, including approximately 5,200 medical cases and 3,300 students, according to the local authorities.

• Prior to the closure of the crossing in 2014, a monthly average of 4,000 people crossed Rafah for health-related reasons.

EREZ: Crossings into Israel

RAFAH: Crossings in both directions



• The Kerem Shalom crossing operated for exiting goods on 14 out of 27 scheduled days, for daytime hours only.

• 152 truckloads of goods exited Gaza, a 7% decrease compared to the monthly average since the beginning of 2016. Trucks exited to the following destinations:

    -- 95 truckloads of agricultural products, furniture and clothing to the West Bank;
    -- 39 truckloads of agricultural products and scrap metal/aluminum to Israel.
    -- 18 truckloads of agricultural products to international markets.
Truckloads exiting into Gaza

Truckloads entering Gaza


• Kerem Shalom operated on17 out of 26* scheduled days.

• The volume of imports this month decreased for all categories of items by 11%, compared to the monthly average since the beginning of 2016.

• Rafah commercial crossing opened on three days, allowing 204 truckloads of construction materials to enter Gaza.

• 5% of the truckloads that entered in September were designated for humanitarian aid agencies.

• 5,557 truckloads carried construction materials, constituting the largest category of imports (56%). These include 2,099 truckloads of materials defined by Israel as 'dual use' items, which entered via the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM).

• Karni, Sufa and Nahal Oz crossings with Israel remained close.

* Kerem Shalom crossing is open Sunday - Friday.

Goods imported in September 2016

(in truckloads)

* Primarily includes cement and steel bars, aggregates removed from dual use materials list in 2015.
**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:

16.9 million litres of petrol & diesel.

6.9 million litres of industrial fuel for the Gaza Power Plant and

3,725 tons of cooking gas, which represents around 50% of the estimated needs (7,500 tons), according to the Gas Station Owners' Association (June 2016 estimate).

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