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Gaza saw 45% drop in exits through Israel-controlled Erez crossing

The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, closed on the Gaza-side by Hamas officials in response to the assasination of one of it's leaders, Mazen Fuqaha, in the Gaza Strip on March 24, 2016 [Mohammed Asad / Middle East Monitor]
The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel in the Gaza Strip on 24 March, 2016 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

September saw a 45 per cent drop in Palestinian exits through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing of the occupied Gaza Strip, Israeli NGO Gisha reported yesterday.

According to the press release, there was a total of 5,263 exits of Palestinians through Erez in September, a decrease of 45 per cent compared to August (9,626), 54 per cent compared to July (11,522), and 12 per cent compared to the monthly average in 2017.

"It is also the lowest number of exits in any month so far in 2018," Gisha added.

During September, the NGO added, the Erez crossing operated for just 15 days, due to a combination of closures for Jewish holidays, and as punitive measures in response to protests.

READ: Israel closes Erez crossing, bans patients from accessing treatment

The most significant drop was in the number of traders, or merchant, exits during September – just 2,489 from 5,516 in August. In 2016, by contrast, the monthly average was 6,637.

Overall, the number of merchants holding valid exit permits stood at 1,419 at the beginning of October, compared with 1,495 at the beginning of September, 2,136 at the beginning of August, 1,900 in July and 2,046 in June.

Gisha also condemned the Israeli government's recent decision to block the entry of fuel and gas supplies into the Gaza Strip as collective punishment, and urged Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman to reverse his decision.

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