Policy on Movement of People between the State of Israel and the Gaza Strip

In its decision B/34 of 19 September 2007 the Security Cabinet of Israel declared the Gaza Strip ‘a “hostile entity” controlled by a terrorist organization, against which a number of civilian-economic sanctions will be imposed’. The decision was a response to the takeover of power in Gaza by Hamas. As well as ‘limiting the types of goods Israel allows into the Gaza Strip and reducing fuel and electricity supplied by Israel to the Gaza Strip (see the 2010 ‘Policy towards the Gaza Strip’ under Legal Instruments and the case of Bassiouni vs the Prime Minister under Cases in this section) the sanctions would also include restricting the movement of people between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

This Policy on Movement of People between the State of Israel and the Gaza Strip lists the precise categories of people permitted to enter Israel from Gaza, including for onward travel to the occupied Palestinian territories or abroad, and the circumstances under which they are permitted to do so.  

Though not directly relevant in respect of reparations, the document may serve as an indicator of the degree of Israel’s control, and therefore of its possible responsibilities in Gaza, since its disengagement from the area in 2005. Israel’s own position is that ‘the laws of belligerent occupation no longer apply to the relationship between [Israel] and the residents of the Gaza Strip, and that Israel therefore no longer bears an overall responsibility for the welfare of the population but only basic humanitarian obligations with respect thereto’.