PCHR welcomes the Egyptian Authorities’ Decision to Open the Gaza Strip | babelmed
PCHR welcomes the Egyptian Authorities’ Decision to Open the Gaza Strip Print
PCHR welcomes the Egyptian Authorities’ Decision to Open the Gaza Strip | babelmedThe Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) welcomes the decision of the Egyptian authorities to open all land and air passages for Palestinians to and from the Gaza Strip. This decision reflects the spirit of revolution and change in Egypt, shows Egypt’s major role in supporting the Palestinian people, and illustrates the respectable efforts made by the Egyptian leadership to achieve Palestinian national reconciliation.

On Thursday 26 May 2011, the Egyptian al-Ahram Daily reported that beginning Saturday, 28 May 2011, Egyptian authorities will increase the hours of operation at Rafah International Crossing Point from 09:00 to 17:00 daily, excluding Fridays and official holidays. They also announced that they would apply the procedures regulating the entry of Palestinians to Egypt that were in effect prior to 2007. Under these procedures the following categories are exempted from applying for entry visas:
  • • All Palestinian women.
  • • Male Palestinian aged below 18 and above 40.
  • • Patients who have medical transfers.
  • • Children who accompany their parents, who are already exempted from applying for visas.
  • • Palestinian families passing via Egyptian territory to travel to and from the Gaza Strip, provided that they have their Palestinian passports, identity cards, and visas to enter a country of destination.

While it reiterates welcoming these facilitations, PCHR emphasizes the following:
  1. The newly declared policy is related to the movement of persons only and do not include commercial transactions. These procedures will not to ease the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population or change the economic situation caused by the strict closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.
  2. The Gaza Strip is still an occupied territory controlled by Israeli occupation forces.
  3. The State of Israel, as an occupying power according to international law, is responsible for the welfare of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
  4. The newly declared Egyptian policy, which we highly appreciate, is not an alternative to the core issue, which is lifting the Israeli closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, opening crossings for commercial transactions and allowing the freedom of movement of persons, including the movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, through the outlets that are controlled by the Israeli occupation forces.
  5. The new Egyptian policy does not exempt the international community of their responsibilities to exert pressure on Israel to lift the closure and comply with international law.

For further information:
29 Omer El Mukhtar St.,
El Remal,
PO Box 1328 Gaza,
Gaza Strip.