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Gaza Crossings Reopens, Amid Protests

The Oasis Reporters


October 5, 2023










Palestinian workers gather at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza on Sept. 28.Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images






After almost two weeks of border closures, Israel reopened its Erez Crossing with Gaza on Thursday. The move comes amid weeks of violent protests along the northern border’s fence, with Palestinian militants and Israeli soldiers clashing. According to Palestinian protest organizers, daily demonstrations will be suspended following the border reopening.



Mass protests supported by Hamas, which controls Gaza, have rocked the area this month, leading to Israeli authorities closing the border. The protests focused on Israeli violence against Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, as well as the long-running blockade of Gaza. At least seven people have been killed and dozens more wounded in the fighting. Palestinians say the border closures violate their right to freedom of movement.



Around 18, 000 Gazans have permits to work in Israel and the West Bank, generating around $2 million a day.

In August 2022, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid reopened border crossings in a policy pivot after nearly two decades of closed borders.

Hamas wants Israel to increase the number of Gazans allowed to work across the border to 20,000; around two-thirds of Gazans are unemployed, one of the highest rates in the world.

Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations helped mediate Thursday’s border decision, but all three entities have faced backlash from Palestinian officials.

Egypt has long helped Israel block goods from entering Gaza, citing security concerns with Hamas rule.

Hamas has accused Qatar of failing to provide the full sum of aid it promised to Gaza.

And the United Nations has repeatedly been accused of siding with Israeli officials despite condemning Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians.

Beginning with the Great March of Return in 2018, when more than 200 Palestinians were killed during a series of border demonstrations, protests have escalated tensions between Israel and Gaza.

Although local officials predict a two-week reprieve from fighting, Palestinians worry that reopening Erez Crossing is like applying a Band-Aid to a gunshot wound; a total end to violence is still far off in the distance.


Foreign Policy.


Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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