‘Easing ’ measures
announced on 20 June 20108
implementation and results
|• Publish a list of items not permitted into Gaza (‘negative list’).|
• All items absent from this list will be permitted to enter Gaza.
|• Imports increased from 20% to 35% of pre-blockade levels; primarily|
consumer goods including food.9
• The published negative list extends far beyond the international definition of dual-use items.10
• Many items absent from the list still require special approval and many of them have not received it.11
• Imports of many raw materials still restricted.12
• Negative impact of cheap imports on local production.
|• Allow the entry of restricted construction materials for international projects in Gaza approved by the Palestinian Authority.|
• Expand and accelerate their inflow
|• Inflow of construction materials at only 11% of pre-blockade levels.13|
• Delays and extra costs due to complex approval and monitoring procedures.
• Only 25 UNRWA projects approved in principle, i.e. 7% of UNRWA building plan; only a small fraction of materials for these 25 projects received.14
• Reconstruction of people’s homes hampered due to exclusion of private sector.
|• Expand operations and capacity of crossings to Gaza, enabling the processing of a significantly greater volume of goods. (Further elaborated as allowing 250 trucks per day at Kerem Shalom crossing, to be increased to 400 in the first half of 2011; and allowing 360 truckloads per week through a conveyor at Karni crossing.)15|
• Open additional crossings “as more processing capacity becomes necessary and when security concerns are fully addressed”.
|• Crossings’ operation still far from sufficient for the level of imports and exports required.|
• Kerem Shalom crossing: 183 trucks entering per day on average, up from 86 prior to easing.16
• Karni crossing with capacity to process over 750 trucks daily remains closed except for a conveyor belt. The conveyor is processing only 137 truckloads per week on average, down from 158 prior to ‘easing’, and only 38% of what was promised.17
• Erez crossing remains opened for restricted movement of people only. Other Israeli crossings – Sufa and Nahal Oz - remain closed.
Movement of people
|• Streamline permits for entry and exit for humanitarian and medical reasons and for aid workers.|
• “As conditions improve”, consider additional ways to facilitate the movement of people to and from Gaza.
|• Increase in permits for businesspeople.|
• Overall ban on exit and entry still in place. No expansion of the few exceptional categories of Palestinians allowed to travel through Israeli controlled crossings. Number of exits below 1% of 2000 levels.18
• Fewer permits approved for UN local humanitarian staff than before ‘easing’.19 Permit policy for aid workers and medical patients still arbitrary, unpredictable and time consuming.
Not mentioned in the announcement:
|• Ban on exports continues. Except for the humanitarian activity of exporting a small amount of strawberries, not a single truck of exports has left Gaza since the ‘easing until now’. Israel has signalled willingness to allow some exports by spring 2011 but makes it conditional on presence of Palestinian Authority at the crossings.20|
|• No easing of fuel restrictions. Fuel for the power plant remains limited at 68% of its maximum capacity; cooking gas imports have been at around 53% of average needs; almost no diesel and petrol allowed for commercial sector.21 Due to the power plant fuel restrictions, exacerbated by intra-Palestinian disagreements, there is a chronic lack of electricity and regular blackouts, affecting provision of essential services, including water supply, sewage treatment, and health services.|
|• No change. Access to around 35% of Gaza’s farmland and 85% of maritime areas for fishing remains restricted by the Israeli ‘buffer zone’, with devastating impact on the economy and people’s rights and livelihoods. An estimated 178,000 people are directly affected. Boundaries of the restricted areas are highly arbitrary and enforced by live fire: 6 civilians have been killed (2 of them children) and 57 injured (10 of them children) by Israeli fire in the buffer zone since the ‘easing’ of the blockade.23|