Saturday, April 11, 2009

Report from Human Rights Organizations: Who Is Really Closing the Rafah Crossing?

Gisha News Release,March 25, 2009 - A New Report from Gisha and Physicians For Human Rights-Israel Reveals: Who is Really Closing Rafah Crossing?

The report reveals that all parties – Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas – are preventing passage between Gaza and Egypt for political reasons. All the parties are denying their own accountability, while pointing an accusatory finger at the others. The responsibility falls first and foremost on Israel; however, all parties involved are contributing to the systematic violation of the rights of Gaza residents. The right of 1.5 million people to enter and exit the Gaza Strip is not a political issue but a fundamental human right.

A new report on Rafah Crossing and the parties involved in its closure was published today by Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel). The report "Rafah Crossing: Who Holds the Keys?" dispels the fog concerning responsibility for Rafah Crossing, answering the question, who is really responsible for the closure of Rafah Crossing – and therefore for the violation of the rights of Gaza residents.

After almost two years of a nearly hermetic closure and following a military operation which left behind thousands of victims and caused immense destruction, all parties involved continue to deny responsibility and claim that the opening of Rafah Crossing will be resolved through political negotiations. In light of the current political deadlock, Gisha and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel demand that all the parties controlling Rafah Crossing – Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Egypt – end this futile political game and take immediate and concrete action to open the crossing. All the parties concerned bear an obligation to rise above their narrow interests and to respect the rights of 1.5 million people being used as pawns in political negotiations....

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