Blockade of the Gaza Strip

2000 ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel and Egypt

A blockade has been imposed on the movement of goods and people in and out of the Gaza Strip since Hamas's takeover in 2007, led by Israel and supported by Egypt. The blockade's current stated aim is to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza; previously stated motivations have included exerting economic pressure on Hamas.> Human rights groups have called the blockade illegal and a form of collective punishment, as it restricts the flow of essential goods, contributes to economic hardship, and limits Gazans' freedom of movement. The blockade and its effects have led to the territory being called an "open-air prison".


  • Since 2007, Gazans have lived under siege, prohibited from leaving their open-air prison by a high-security militarized wall and platoons of Israeli soldiers. For the last 16 years, starting long before the latest escalation, access to most goods was banned. Gazans couldn’t even get construction materials to repair the homes, hospitals, water treatment facilities, and places or worship that Israel bombed repeatedly — in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2018 and 2021. Israel often denied emergency medical permits to leave the Strip, leaving many Gazans to die without care. Electricity was already limited. A 72-year-old woman in Gaza told a reporter last January, “It is hard to imagine, but we used to experience 24 hours of electricity each day in Gaza; now we are lucky if we get six.” Now there is none. Water was already unavailable except through expensive purchases from Israeli water companies. And food has long been scarce — by the age of two, 20 percent of Gaza’s children are already stunted. On October 9, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called for a “total siege” of Gaza. “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed,” he said. For Gaza’s already impoverished and malnourished population, that’s not just collective punishment — it’s genocide ... If we’re serious about preventing violence, we need to change the conditions from which this brutality sprang. Sending more bombs, warplanes, guns and bullets won’t solve the problem.
  • Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.
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