Israel closure of Gaza crossings enters 11th day, straining the economy

Middle East Monitor  /  September 25, 2023

Israel maintains the indefinite closure of the Gaza border crossing, barring Palestinian labourers from commuting to work in the occupation state for the 11th consecutive day.

According to the WAFA news agency, the 11-day closure of the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing has resulted in significant challenges for both workers and patients in the besieged coastal enclave.  It has hindered their ability to commute for employment in Israel or access medical treatment in hospitals located in the occupied West Bank or Jerusalem.

Moreover, due to the continued closure of the fully Israeli-controlled Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, essential commodities, including much-needed fuel, have been denied entry into Gaza for the fourth consecutive day.

Maher Tabbaa, the director general of the Gaza Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told WAFA that the persistent closure of the Beit Hanoun crossing has resulted in significant financial losses for workers, amounting to an estimated $16 million.

Human rights group Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement told Haaretz that the closures of the border crossings constitutes “illegal collective punishment which severely harms labourers and their families, as well as others who received exit passes for urgent humanitarian needs.”

Last year was the first in five years in which a closure was not imposed on the occupied West Bank. These closures further damage and limit the growth of the Palestinian economy.