B’Tselem report on the siege of Gaza

According to a new report published by B’Tselem and HaMoked, Israel’s policy of “strangulation” has effectively cut the Gaza Strip off from the rest of the world.

The report, which documents the grave and prolonged violation of human rights resulting from Israel’s control of the movement of people and goods between Gaza and the rest of the world, concludes that:

As a result of the economic siege on Gaza, more than 77 percent of Gazans (1,033,500 people) now live below the poverty line – almost double the number before the intifada. Some 23 percent of Gazans (over 323,000 people) are in “deep poverty,” meaning that they do not reach the subsistence poverty line even after receiving aid from international agencies.

Almost all the restrictions on movement are imposed on entire categories of people, based on sweeping criteria, without checking if the individual poses a security risk, and without weighing the harm the person will suffer, or if less harmful alternatives are available. In most cases, where Israel denies a permit and human rights organizations intervene, Israel reverses its decision to avoid an embarrassing legal challenge.

Most components of the policy of strangulation are illegal under international and Israeli law.

“One Big Prison: Freedom of Movement to and from the Gaza Strip on the Eve of the Disengagement Plan”
(Full Report, DOC); (Full Report, PDF)

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