The Continued Occupation and Closure of the Rafah Crossing Deepens the Humanitarian Catastrophe in the Gaza Strip


The continued control of the Rafah crossing by Israeli occupation forces and its complete closure to the movement of people and goods for the thirty-first consecutive day is a part of the ongoing series of genocide crimes.

This exacerbates the humanitarian crisis affecting the lives and basic needs of citizens in the Gaza Strip, as the crossing is the only gateway connecting Gaza to the outside world. It enables citizens to exercise their rights to movement, travel, health, and education. The crossing is the only corridor for the entry of vital humanitarian and medical aid.

Since the occupation forces took control of the crossing and closed it on May 6th, 2024, the residents of Gaza have been deprived of the main lifeline for humanitarian and health aid. The entry of fuel and gas, necessary for the operation of health facilities, hospitals, water pumps, civil defense tasks, and municipalities, has been ceased.

 More than 20,000 wounded individuals and patients with various chronic diseases are waiting for the crossing to open to leave for treatment.

243 days of the ongoing genocide in the Gaza Strip and the number of wounded and injured has increased. Official sources reported that 82,627 victims, including 11,000 need to travel abroad for treatment. 10,000 cancer patients face death due to a halt of medical treatment, and 350,000 are at risk due to the prevention of medication entry for chronic diseases.

The closure of the Rafah crossing has significantly hindered the entry of aid, which was already insufficient to meet the necessary needs. Humanitarian aid entering Gaza decreased by more than 65% in the first three weeks of the closure, bringing back severe food shortages and famine indicators.

Given the grave consequences of the reoccupation and continued closure of the Rafah crossing, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) calls on the international community and relevant international bodies to:

•       Immediately halt the genocide and stop using starvation and deliberate deprivation of all life essentials as a weapon to punish civilian citizens.

•       Ensure the immediate withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces and their military machinery from the Rafah crossing.

•       Urge the World Health Organization to pressure the authorities of the Israeli Occupation to fulfill its obligations in opening the crossing and the entry of medical supplies for the wounded and sick, and the fuel and gas necessary to restart hospitals and health centers operated by the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

•       Encourage the Special Rapporteur on the right to movement and travel to press the occupying state to open the crossing, enabling Gaza citizens to receive life-saving services.

•       Urge the Human Rights Council and specialized UN agencies to condemn violations and pressure the occupation to withdraw from the crossing and reopen it immediately.

•       Immediately stop targeting police officers, employees, and administrators working in the distribution and protection of humanitarian aid, as they are civilians protected by International Humanitarian law.

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