Gaza Palestinian Travel
In recent years I have made several trips to Israel, most recently to the West Bank and Gaza. Here is all you need to know before visiting Israel's most popular tourist destination in the Middle East, the Gaza Strip.
It is almost impossible to leave Gaza through the Erez crossing into Israel, which is strictly restricted by the Israeli government. Israel often imposes a complete closure that allows only limited movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It is claimed that since the introduction of this regime, the movement of people from Gaza to the West Bank has become almost impossible and Israel has often imposed complete cordons that allow only limited movement of people and goods between Gaza and Gaza.
In 2002, Israel also froze the residency rights Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza could receive if they marry a Palestinian in Jerusalem. Palestinians in various parts of Israel and remain restricted to Palestinians who have received travel permits from the Israeli military. The permit regime was formalized in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2002, with the introduction of a "permit regime" for Palestinians in Gaza.
British and Palestinian dual nationals living in the West Bank and Gaza will be allowed to travel abroad and return on the same route. Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in Gaza, as well as those who have been allowed to travel abroad.
Palestinians wishing to travel from Gaza to Jordan, the West Bank or Jerusalem need a transfer permit to use the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza. Palestinians in Gaza will also need a transfer permit to enter the Gaza-Israel border crossing and return to Gaza from the occupied West Bank or Israel. Palestinian citizens of the PA's civil affairs department and would have to apply in advance to enter the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossings. This is necessary because of the increasing number of applications for travel permits, which would normally be facilitated by the Palestinian Authority's Civil Affairs Department.
Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, including at Israeli military checkpoints, have the ability to transmit viruses. While Israel retains control of the Gaza-Israel crossing and the Erez crossing, thousands of Palestinians travel to and from Israeli territories every day with permits from the Israeli authorities, including those traveling to Jordan and other countries. In Israel - occupied Palestine, where there are no roadblocks or checkpoints - there is no difference between those travelling in normal areas and those going in and out of the West Bank.
Palestinian tour guides and transport companies have been banned from entering Israel since 2000, and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism removed the West Bank and "Palestinian territories" from its materials in 2009. East Jerusalem is not cut off - it borders the Palestinians in Gaza and is highly inaccessible to them in the West Bank. Israel continues to arbitrarily deny Gaza residents entry to Israel and the West Bank for treatment. Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians from Gaza are forbidden to enter Israel to visit their relatives in Israel.
After Hamas took control of Gaza and Israel withdrew from the strip, the army imposed strict restrictions on the coastal enclave, which it then placed under a blockade. This year, Israel restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians from Gaza even further to stem the spread of a new coronavirus, and drastically reduced the number of exit permits for Palestinians wishing to leave Gaza. At that point, Israel began to require a military permit from the Palestinians - a permit granted to them when they wanted to enter Israel or move between the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and to and from other parts of Israel.
As an exception to its travel rules, Israel allows up to 100 Palestinians from Gaza to travel abroad without crossing the border, including students and professionals seeking opportunities abroad. In 1972, the Israeli military issued a general exit order allowing any Palestinian to enter Israel. Israel has allowed 120 senior Gaza merchants to travel to Israel and the West Bank on the days the Erez crossing is open.
Israeli shekels (NS) used by Gazans in the summer of 2009 to travel from Gaza to Israel and the West Bank through the Erez crossing. Hamas does not publish statistics on emigration, even though life in Gaza has become so bad under its rule. Note: Police officers at Hamas checkpoints outside the Gaza Strip have been opening pockets since the beginning of 2009!
The Amnesty USA campaign announcement states: "At the moment, Israel is blocking thousands of Palestinian students in Gaza from obtaining higher education in Israel and in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since 2000, Israel has prevented Gaza students from traveling to study at universities in and around the West Bank that offer access to a wide range of courses in business, law, medicine, and other fields. Israel bans foreign academics from traveling to Gaza or the West Bank for professional purposes. Due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we recommend that you exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to and from Israel or the West Bank and to warn against travelling to or through the Gaza Strip.