HaMoked to the COGAT: regular activity at Erez Crossing should be resumed, allowing passage of Israelis and Palestininas המוקד להגנת הפרט
09.09.2014
HaMoked to the COGAT: regular activity at Erez Crossing should be resumed, allowing passage of Israelis and Palestininas
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On June 15, 2014, due to the fighting which took place in the Gaza Strip, the entrance of Israelis into the Gaza Strip, the entrance of Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza and the passage from Gaza to the West Bank was almost totally stopped. On August 26, 2014 an indefinite ceasefire was reached which has been maintained since then on both sides of the border. Nevertheless, Erez Crossing remained closed for both Israelis and Palestinians. Since the fighting has ended, HaMoked received many requests of family members who wish to urgently enter the Gaza Strip. Most of the requests are submitted by Israeli women who are married to Gaza residents – "divided families" – who came to Israel for a visit or due to the fighting in Gaza, and cannot return to their homes, spouses and minor children who stayed in Gaza.

On September 1, 2014, HaMoked turned to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), and demanded he immediately order the opening of Erez Crossing for regular activity. HaMoked emphasized that a delay in resuming regular activity at the crossing violated the rights to freedom of movement and family life of all Gaza residents, as of their Israeli family members. HaMoked added further that in view of the fact that the fighting ended, leaving the crossing closed for the passage of Israelis and others, who had travelled through it until recent events, could no longer be justified based on security reasons. HaMoked even expressed the concern that collective punishment of Palestinians and their Israeli family members was involved.

On September 8, 2014, the COGAT informed that Erez Crossing was re-opened for regular activity. It was further stated that applications by "divided families" which were submitted prior to the commencement of Operation Protective Edge would be processed according to regular procedure. However, applications to visit invalid family members submitted before the commencement of the operation would not be processed, unless they were re-submitted, together with updated medical records.
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