Israel reopens border crossing in Gaza Strip area News
Israel reopens border crossing in Gaza Strip area

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, announced on Thursday that the Erez Crossing would be reopened for workers to leave the Gaza Strip area. Whether the border reopening would be continued is subject to an assessment of the situation, COGAT added.

Palestinian demonstrations have frequently taken place in Gaza in recent months to express Palestinian discontent over the struggling economy, power outages and high cost of living due to the blockade of Gaza. The protests intensified in mid-September. Subsequently, the Israeli authorities closed down crossings in the Gaza Strip for the Jewish New Year. The close down of the Gaza crossing further triggered unrest for its impediment of Palestinian workers’ economic activities. The Israeli Defense Forces said they had deployed unmanned aerial vehicles to put down the riot at the Gaza security fence.

According to Al Jazeera, Qatar’s envoy to Gaza Mohammad al-Emadi said in a press conference that, “[T]he situation in the Gaza Strip is dire and another conflict will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis.” He further added that Qatar has contributed to the de-escalation of the conflict in the Gaza Strip by facilitating the reopening of the Erez crossing.

Territorial integrity and sovereignty have remained an unresolved issue in the West Bank and Gaza Strip area. The intensified Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led to the highest death toll since 2005, according to the UN. In August, UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland also warned of funding shortfalls of the humanitarian assistance program in the region.

Apart from calling for immediate steps from the UN to de-escalate tensions, Wennesland also called for the Israeli government to cease its settlement activity on September 27. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has declared Israeli settlement activities in violation of international humanitarian law since 2003. The UN General Assembly has also passed a resolution to call for the cessation of Israeli settlement activities in December 2022. Nonetheless, Israeli settlement activities are still ongoing and are still violating its obligations under international law, according to Wennesland.