Access Kit

A guide to procedures and protocols which regulate access to and from the Gaza Strip
Last update: October 2019

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The State of Israel restricts the movement of both people and goods to and from Gaza through Israeli territory. To travel, or transport goods, Palestinians must submit a permit application to the Israeli authorities and receive their approval. Israel controls Gaza residents’ freedom of movement through dozens of procedures and protocols, violating their rights to family life, health, religious worship and more. The following document does not cover all the procedures Israel uses to regulate Palestinian life, but rather focuses on those used by Israel to circumscribe Gaza residents’ access to educational opportunities and livelihoods, including commercial activity, academic studies, and other opportunities for professional development outside the Gaza Strip.

After extensive legal efforts by Gisha, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) was compelled to publish the procedures that govern its operations on its website. While the website implies all procedures are released in both Hebrew and Arabic, it should be noted that not all procedures are translated into Arabic and that the website sometimes contains outdated, and thus misleading, procedures. For example, the key document to Israel’s permit regime, known as the Status of Authorizations document, is updated several times a year, but the updates appear only in the Hebrew version. The Arabic version has not been updated since 2017.

Gisha is an Israeli human rights organization dedicated to protecting Palestinians’ right to freedom of movement, particularly Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. We have been providing legal assistance to Gaza residents in an effort to protect their right to freedom of movement since 2005. Through our work, we have come to realize that the people whose lives are directly affected by these procedures are either unaware of their existence or are reluctant to make use of them for one reason or another, including due to confusion about what the rules actually are. In 2015, we decided to share the information, knowledge and experience we had gained over the years with pertinent audiences, namely Palestinian residents of Gaza and the West Bank, foreign nationals residing in the region, and journalists. This document was written with a view to enable residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Israelis and foreigners who wish to exercise their right to freedom of movement to successfully engage the Israeli authorities on their own.

Publishing these procedures does not mean that Gisha recognizes their legitimacy, in fact quite the contrary. The sweeping restrictions Israel imposes through them are disproportionate and constitute a breach of international law. The main failing is not the fact that the procedures are not published, but rather, the very fact that they exist. Gisha, therefore, engages in legal and public efforts to challenge the legitimacy of these procedures, working with army officials, the Israeli justice system, and policymakers. Still, so long as the procedures are enforced, familiarity with them is a practical necessity, even if only to allow more people to exercise their rights, thereby enriching their own lives and communities.

We clarify that the information included in this document is correct true to the time of publication, to the best of the knowledge and according to the experience of Gisha staff. However, the Israeli authorities often change the way they implement the procedures. In addition, Israeli authorities sometimes do not implement requirements listed in a procedure, and sometimes make requirements that are not listed in them. This version of the Access Kit is the third version created by Gisha and was last updated in October 2019.

Gisha’s intake hours for consultation in Arabic, Hebrew or English, are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We can be reached by phone at 03-6244120 or e-mail at info@gisha.org.

Part 1
Israeli policy
Israeli policy

Israel’s current policy on travel to and from Gaza originates in a government resolution passed in September 2007 after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. The restrictions were concealed from public view for years until they were put in writing in a document entitled Policy on Movement of People between the State of Israel and the Gaza Strip, published on May 5, 2011 (see Appendix 1). The document provides a general outline of the authorizations and criteria for travel from Gaza to Israel and vice versa. Detailed, up-to-date breakdowns of these authorizations are now available through a document entitled “Unclassified Status of Authorizations for the Entry of Palestinians into Israel, their Passage between Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip and their Travel Abroad,” which is updated from time to time by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). COGAT is in charge of implementing the government’s civilian policy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These documents provide information relevant to travel both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Thanks to Gisha’s work, the “Status of Authorizations” document is now publicly accessible and regularly posted on COGAT’s website, as well as Gisha’s website. It is important to note that the Arabic translation of the document is not kept up to date and the Hebrew is the authoritative version. Additionally, the specific procedures on the various issues covered in this document are also posted on the Gisha and COGAT websites.

To view Gisha’s unofficial English translation of the Status of Authorizations document, see Appendix 2. For the latest version of the document in Hebrew, see here. We stress that the document is updated often, so it is important to visit Gisha’s and/or COGAT’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Part 2
General information about travel permit applications for Palestinians
General information about travel permit applications for Palestinians

How are applications filed?
Palestinians with a registered address in the Gaza Strip, or present in the Gaza Strip at the time of submission, file their applications to the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee in Gaza. If the applicant is not physically in the Gaza Strip, the application can be filed by a relative or a friend. The Civil Affairs Committee is tasked with forwarding the application to the Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) on the Israeli side. Once a decision has been made, the response is relayed to the Palestinian side, and through them, to the applicant. Applications by Palestinians who are physically present in the West Bank and registered there must be filed with the Palestinian District Coordination and Liaison offices (DCLs), which forward them to one of the 8 Israeli DCLs, according to the applicant’s address. Applications regarding Israeli citizens or residents entering or exiting the Strip should be forwarded to the Israelis Desk at the Gaza CLA and applications regarding staff of recognized international organizations should be forwarded to the Department of International Organizations in the Gaza CLA. When either Palestinian or Israeli officials refuse to accept an application for whatever reason, we recommend applicants consult with Gisha.

Given the complicated system and large number of applications, some applications are never forwarded from the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee to the Israeli CLA for various reasons. Therefore, it is recommended to follow up with relevant officials on the Palestinian side with respect to the application’s status. While this option is available online, we highly recommend not to rely solely on the committee’s website. Inquiries regarding the processing status of applications filed in the West Bank can be made with the Palestinian DCLs, or through the general information center set up by the Civil Administration at telephone number 074-7642929, Sunday to Thursday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

• Applications must enclose all relevant documents, depending on the type of application. The documents must be current, clear and legible. Many applications are not processed due to the quality of the supporting documents enclosed. Unfortunately, the Israeli military rejects applications submitted with documents it deems to be of poor quality and does not necessarily inform the applicant of the issue. Documents may be submitted in Arabic, English or Hebrew. Applicants should make sure their applications are filed under the right category upon submission (e.g.: commerce permit, conferences and seminars etc.), ask for written confirmation that the application was filed and receive its serial number.

• Applicants must record the date on which the application was filed and retain copies of the application itself and the documents enclosed with it.

• Applications must be submitted in person at the offices of the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee at al-Ansar building, across from the Commissioner’s Palace in Gaza City. For more information on filing applications, applicants should contact the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee. However, in our experience, it is preferable to arrive at the committee offices in person.

• Contact the Economic Representative for applications concerning commercial matters.

• Applications by recognized foreign and international organizations should be filed with the Department of International Organizations of the Gaza CLA, using the CLA’s online application system at www.clagaza.org.

In the event of urgent applications or inability to access the online system, contact the CLA Public Liaison Officer directly, Tel: 08-6741469, or by e-mail: kapatz@cogatmtkgaza.gov.il.

How far in advance of departure should applications be filed?
The procedure on Processing Permit Applications by Palestinian Residents of the Gaza Strip (see Appendix 3) stipulates maximum processing times by the CLA from the moment an application is received until a decision is made. Processing times differ by application type, and in any event, times refer to business days only (excluding Fridays, Saturdays and holidays). The processing time for applications to attend business meetings, conferences, and consular appointments is 50 days. The processing time for applications for commerce permits, seminars, medical internships, and travel abroad for any purpose including work or study is 70 days.

The CLA begins the count once the application has been forwarded from the Palestinian side with all relevant documents attached. Processing times account for a security screening, although the procedure notes that more “in-depth” screening may be needed, in which case processing times may be longer. It is important to note that the above is based on the cited procedure, but in our experience, applications are accepted after the deadline noted in the procedure. Additionally, in urgent cases such as death, visiting a terminally ill patient and the like, last-minute applications are accepted. We recommend making every effort to file applications as soon as possible and within the stipulated deadlines. However, even if you cannot meet the deadline, do not give up. File the application and insist that the Palestinian Civilian Affairs Committee forward it to the Israeli side.

We recommend making every effort to file applications as soon as possible and within the stipulated deadlines. However, even if you cannot meet the deadline, do not give up. File the application and insist that the Palestinian Civilian Affairs Committee forward it to the Israeli side.

When to expect a response?
Responses may arrive at any time, or not arrive at all. We have seen cases in which a positive response was given the day before the requested departure date, and some on the morning of the requested date. Although this is standard practice for the CLA, we advise against waiting until the last minute. Contact the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee about a week after the application is submitted to make sure it has been forwarded to the Israeli side and is being processed. If the permit is required on a certain date, we advise contacting the committee once again no later than a week ahead of that date.

What are the hours of operation at Erez Crossing?

Erez Crossing hours of operation for travel by Palestinians into Israel are Sunday to Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Hours of operation for entering Gaza are Sunday to Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The crossing is closed on Saturdays and holidays, with the exception of life-saving cases. Hours of operation during Jewish holidays are sometimes posted in advance on the COGAT English or Arabic Facebook pages.

Since July 2017, Israel has imposed luggage restrictions at Erez Crossing. Palestinians may not cross with trolley or hard-sided suitcases. Israel also bans electronic devices (including computers and ca.m.eras, but excluding cell phones), toiletries and personal hygiene products, as well as food, including for personal consumption during crossing.

 

Part 3
Applications for commerce permits
Applications for commerce permits

Travel from Gaza to Israel and the West Bank for commercial purposes is regulated by the following Israeli military procedures: Procedure for Issuing Merchant Permits, Business Permits, and Permits for Palestinian Authority Employees in the Financial Sector (Hebrew, see Appendix 4), Issuing Permits for Business Purposes in Israel for Gaza Strip Residents (Hebrew, see Appendix 5), Procedure on Travel by Merchants for Business in Israel or the Judea and Samaria Area (Hebrew, see Appendix 6), and Procedure for Issuing Commerce Permits, published in 2019 (Hebrew, see Appendix 7).

The total quota of businesspeople approved for entry into Israel and the West Bank is currently 5,000. Permits are issued for up to six months, during which permit holders can travel from Gaza to Israel and the West Bank, but barring overnight stay unless specifically delineated by the permit. Permits may be renewed once expired.

Minimum requirements for application submission:

1. Age and marital status – To be eligible for permits, Palestinian businesspeople must be aged 25 or over and married. Businesspeople who do not meet these criteria may be approved in exceptional cases, and subject to individual security screening.

2. Scope of business activity – As far as Gisha knows, a minimum business cycle of 20,000 ILS is required in order to obtain a commerce permit. Presumably, the larger the volume of business conducted with Israeli companies, the better the application’s chances of approval.

Filing applications for commerce permits:

Applications must be submitted in person to the Economics Representative at the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee at al-Ansar building, across from the Commissioner’s Palace in Gaza City. Tel: 08 2829647/9, Fax: 08-2829648.

According to the procedures, the application must enclose the following documents:

1. Registration of the permit applicant and the company for which they work with the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Economics or Trade Bureau.

2. Invitation from Israeli contact person (note that in practice, an invitation from a Palestinian businessperson from the West Bank is also accepted).

3. Copies of invoices, receipts or future business contracts.

4. Official application from the Civil Affairs Committee Business Coordinator.

It is possible that no further documents would be required once the first permit is granted.

Application processing includes classification of the applicant by commercial field: trade and industry or transportation and agriculture; verification that the applicant and the company are in fact registered with Palestinian institutions and security screening (including, in some cases, security interviews). Once an application is approved in principle, the duration of the permit (up to six months) and the hours during which it may be used are determined. Note that a permit including access to the city of Eilat requires a special application.

In exceptional cases, applications for permits for family members (spouses and children) may be filed. At the time of publication, there is no quota applicable to permits for family members of commerce permit holders.

Exit and entry by businesspeople at Erez Crossing: 

Businesspeople must arrive at the crossing with their identity card and a valid commerce permit issued by the CLA. Entry is through the pedestrian crossing and subject to security checks, including luggage. We note that businesspeople may not bring goods in commercial quantities from Israel into Gaza without prior coordination. Transport of agricultural samples from the Gaza Strip into Israel requires advance approval from the agricultural coordinator.

Part 4
Receiving BMG (Businessman Gaza) status
Receiving BMG (Businessman Gaza) status

BMG status is a special status granted to senior Gaza businesspeople, and carries special travel privileges. BMG permits are regulated according to a Procedure on Issuing BMG Documentation to Merchants in the Strip (Hebrew, see Appendix 8). This applies to a distinct group of businesspeople, including business and factory owners, businesspeople in the consulting, advertising, information and communications technology and other such industries, importers and major corporations and banks.

Special privileges for BMG status holders

1. Permits issued for up to one year.

2. Permits valid all hours an include overnight stay.

3. Permission to travel in Israeli vehicles with Israeli drivers through West Bank crossings.

4. Permission for VIP travel abroad via Allenby Bridge (lighter security checks and speedier registration).

5. Permission to travel abroad via Ben Gurion International Airport in exceptional cases and subject to individual assessment.

6. If a security or police preclusion is entered for a BMG status holder, an assessment will be held immediately and within no more than seven days.

7. Authorization for periodic permits for spouses and children, subject to Status of Authorizations document. At the time of publication, a 50-permit quota for family member permits per week applies. Minimum age for receiving an accompanying person permit is 20 and permits are valid between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

BMG status quotas

According to the current Status of Authorizations document at the time of publication, the quota for BMG status stands at 500.

Criteria for receiving BMG status

1. Minimum age for BMG status is 25.

2. All permits issued subject to security and police screening as necessary.

3. Business or factory owners are required to present evidence of an annual business cycle of 5 million ILS, provide financial reports for the past three years and confirmation from the Palestinian tax authorities, have at least 20 employees, and present evidence of contact with an Israeli or West Bank company and membership in a trade association. Persons meeting these requirements may receive two permits – for the factory manager and another management level employee.

4. Applicants in services (consulting, advertising, ITC etc.) are required to present evidence of an annual business cycle of 2 million ILS, have at least 5 employees and present evidence of contact with an Israeli or West Bank company and membership in a trade association.

5. Importers are required to present evidence of an annual business cycle of 5 million ILS, have at least 5 employees, and present evidence of contact with an Israeli or West Bank company and membership in a trade association.

6. Corporations, conglomerates or banks are required to present evidence of an annual business cycle of 50 million ILS. Entities meeting these requirements will receive up to 5 permits for the board chair, the executive director and deputy executive directors or other senior office holders.

Applications must be submitted in person to the Economics Representative at the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee. The procedures do not state precisely what documents must be enclosed with the application, but the criteria imply that, at the very least, the following documents must be included: Confirmation of annual business cycle, confirmation of number of employees, confirmation of membership in a trade association and documents attesting to business ties to Israel or foreign countries. Note that, in practice, documents attesting to business ties with Palestinian businesspeople from the West Bank may also be submitted. However, business ties to foreign countries alone are insufficient.

Once the application is forwarded to the Gaza CLA, it is reviewed by the authorities and forwarded for review by the Israel Security Agency. Responses are provided to applicants via the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee. The head of the Gaza CLA has discretion to approve applications that do not meet the criteria in exceptional circumstances.

Part 5
Academic studies abroad
Academic studies abroad

Since 2000, students from the Gaza Strip have been prevented from studying at universities in the West Bank or Israel (although we are aware of a handful of cases of Gaza residents enrolled in postgraduate studies in Israel). Gisha works to challenge this blanket ban. While we cannot guarantee success, we invite anyone interested in studying in the West Bank to contact Gisha so that we may consider possible legal action.

Transit through Israel for studies abroad

Gaza students may transit through Israel by way of individual permits. Currently, students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate studies are eligible for permits, as well as students enrolled in engineering and other technical certification programs. Departure abroad is via the Allenby Bridge border crossing and from there on to the destination country. Travel to Allenby Bridge takes place in shuttles organized by the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee that run directly from Erez Crossing to Allenby Bridge. At the time of publication, shuttles are available twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. However, there have been occasions when shuttles were available on other days of the week. It is advisable to coordinate alternative departures with the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee.

It is crucial to submit the application as early as possible with all required documents enclosed. According to Israeli military procedures, responses to applications to exit for academic studies are provided in 70 business days. It is, therefore, highly recommended to prepare well in advance in order to avoid missing the start of the academic year. In our experience, students sometimes encounter difficulties obtaining all required documents in the allotted time period. We recommend submitting the application even with missing documents and supplying the missing documents to the Civil Affairs Committee as soon as they are available. Students must highlight the requested date of departure at the time of application.

Documents to be enclosed in the application

• Copy of ID card and passport.

• Letter of acceptance to the program and confirmation of scholarship.

• Visa for the country in question.

• Jordanian non-objection transit visa (adam momanah).

Part 6
Application to enter Israel for consular services
Application to enter Israel for consular services

According to the Status of Authorizations document, Palestinian residents may enter Israel from Gaza for the purpose of receiving consular services by foreign countries, but only when the services are not available in Gaza. In order to do so, applicants must contact the embassy, consulate or representative office and request an interview summons. The summons must be included in the applicant’s request for a one-day permit to enter Israel along with any other relevant documents.

It is important to submit applications as early as possible. The authorities require submission 50 business days prior to the requested date. It is our experience that these applications often go unanswered. Therefore, if there is a date by which you are required to enter the country for which you are applying for a visa, we recommend contacting us no later than three weeks before your scheduled consular appointment.

Travel to the US Embassy in Jerusalem for consular services is possible every other Wednesday only, by designated shuttle, with a Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee escort. This shuttle runs from the Erez Crossing to the embassy (formerly consulate) and back, without any stops. Individuals with consular appointments are not permitted to exit the building.

• Inasmuch as the applicant is interested in exiting to Jordan via Allenby Bridge, after receiving a visa, an application for a Jordanian transit visa (adam momanah) must be submitted. This visa takes several weeks to obtain.

• It is important to note that a permit to exit Gaza for a visa interview is no guarantee that a permit to exit abroad will be granted once the visa is issued. Applications for travel abroad must be filed separately.

Part 7
Conferences, seminars and business meetings
Conferences, seminars and business meetings

The Status of Authorizations document refers to several criteria for entry by Gaza residents for conferences, seminars or business meetings in Israel, the West Bank and abroad:

1. Medical training in Israel or the West Bank, particularly in fields where no services are offered in the Gaza Strip.

2. Participation in a conference held in Israel or the West Bank by professionals in the fields of agriculture, medicine, water, sewage, energy, ICT and the economy.

3. Special conferences and events held by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank (subject to a detailed request from Palestinian Authority representatives).

4. Conferences and professional training seminars on infrastructure and economy held by the Palestinian Authority in Israel or the West Bank related to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip (subject to application from the Palestinian Authority).

5. Travel between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank for non-specific purposes for officials connected to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip (Palestinian Authority officials and others directly connected to reconstruction activities undertaken in coordination with the State of Israel only).

6. “Special” conferences abroad in medicine, agriculture, energy, water, sewage, ICT and the economy for project promotion.

7. Professional training abroad for teachers and academics (lecturers).

8. Participation in business meetings in Israel or the West Bank with companies or government ministries in Israel or the West Bank by top officials in the fields of energy, water, communications, sewage, health and the environment.

9. Participation in business meetings in Israel or the West Bank by key financial sector figures in the fields of banking, tourism, insurance, ICT and media.

10. Participation in official engagements of national and local sports teams in Israel, the West Bank and abroad by team members and members of the Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association.

In our experience, applications that do not fall into the above detailed categories can be approved when the application emphasizes the importance of the request, its contribution to the physical and social rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip, economic development, or the humanitarian nature of the request and the positive impact expected from the trip, as detailed below.

Documents to be enclosed in the application

1. Copy of ID card.

2. Letter of invitation to the conference, seminar or business meeting.

3. A letter emphasizing the importance of approving the application and its humanitarian nature.

4. Any other document which might support the application (e.g., similar
permits issued in the past).

Pointers for writing applications

• The larger and better known the inviting organization, the higher the chances of the application’s approval.

• In any case, it is recommended to attach a cover letter and invitation written by the management or board of the inviting organization. The letter should include details about the organization itself, the year it was established and its aims, it must be printed on the letterhead of the inviting organization and must include a signature and stamp.

• The application should emphasize the humanitarian nature of the request and the applicant’s specific need to attend the conference/seminar, stressing the contribution his/her participation would have on applicant’s professional life and his/her ability to contribute to Gaza’s rehabilitation.

We offer and recommend contacting us for assistance and advice.

Part 8
Entry of foreign nationals into Gaza
Entry of foreign nationals into Gaza

Who is a “foreign national”

Entry into the Gaza Strip as a foreign national applies to individuals who have foreign citizenship exclusively, not to foreign nationals who also have Israeli citizenship or Palestinian residency.

Application submission

Entry into the Gaza Strip by foreign nationals visiting Israel is permitted by special permit from the military commander only. Note that entering Israel does not constitute permission to enter Gaza and a permit to cross from Israel into Gaza does not guarantee smooth entry into Israel proper. These are two entirely separate procedures that are reviewed and approved by different bodies.

The process by which foreign nationals may obtain an entry permit for the Gaza Strip is detailed in the Procedure for Coordinating Entry of Foreigners into the Gaza Strip (see Appendix 9), from June 2015. The procedure stipulates categories of foreign nationals who may submit an application to enter the Gaza Strip: diplomats, United Nations employees, employees of recognized international organizations, employees of unrecognized international organizations, foreign nationals employed by the Palestinian Authority, journalists, foreign nationals immediately related to Palestinian residents of Gaza, and religious clerics. The application tracks vary according to the category into which the applicant fits. In this document we review only the following categories:

1. Foreign nationals employed by a recognized international organization: A request in this track has the highest chance of approval; however, the category applies to a very small group of employees of recognized international aid organizations that are registered with the Israeli Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Interior or the Foreign Ministry. Inquiries made by Gisha have revealed that there has been no procedure for recognizing and registering international organizations for years. The only document available is a list of minimum requirements for registration with the Israeli authorities (see Appendix 10). Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, it is not currently possible to become registered as a recognized organization. We encourage you to contact us for assistance and advice.

Applications by foreign nationals working for recognized international organizations should be submitted up to ten business days prior to the requested date of entry and addressed to the Department of International Organizations at the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) in the Gaza Strip, located at Erez Crossing. Applications must be signed by the head of the organization or his/her appointed delegate. The military demands that these applications be submitted electronically using the CLA website, at www.clagaza.org.

In case the request is urgent or it is not possible to submit it electronically, it should be submitted directly to the CLA Public Liaison Officer, Tel: 08-6741469 or by e-mail at: kapatz@cogatmtkgaza.gov.il. For further information on how to electronically register online with the CLA, contact the Gaza CLA Department of International Organizations.

2. A foreign national representative of a recognized international organization: A foreign national who is not an employee of a recognized international organization, but is hired by the organization as an outside expert with a skill valuable to the activities of the organization (for example: doctors, engineers, specialized technicians) can apply for a permit to enter Gaza. The request must be made formally by the headquarters of an international organization recognized by Israel.

3. A foreign national employed by an unrecognized international organization: An employee of an organization that is not recognized by Israel, i.e. not on the lists approved by the authorities, may submit an exceptional request which will be reviewed in accordance with current Israeli policy. Such requests will have a greater chance of approval if they are based on humanitarian reasons.

A request by an unrecognized international organization should be submitted directly to the CLA Public Liaison Officer at Tel: 08-6741469 or by e-mail: kapatz@ cogatmtkgaza.gov.il. The application must enclose personal information (full name, date of birth, nationality, current residence, address abroad, cell phone in Israel and abroad, passport number and e-mail address), details about the purpose of entry, details about the organization and supporting documents (photocopy of passport, photocopy of visa and other relevant documents). In case Israeli military authorities refuse to accept the request for any reason, we recommend consulting with us.

4. Journalists: Journalists with foreign citizenship (i.e. neither Israeli nor Palestinian) are permitted to travel back and forth between the Gaza Strip and Israel on presentation of an Israel Government Press Office (GPO) card. The procedure for obtaining a GPO card is explained on the GPO website. Although the procedure says entry must be coordinated between the GPO and the relevant CLA officials, in our experience, the COGAT spokesperson’s office may be contacted directly. In exceptional circumstances, it is possible to apply for an entry permit to the Gaza Strip without a GPO card, with authorization from the COGAT Spokesperson, Ms. Shani Sasson, Tel: 03-6977611 or Fax: 03-6977674

Part 9
Entry of Israeli traders and businesspeople into the Gaza Strip
Entry of Israeli traders and businesspeople into the Gaza Strip

Entry into the Gaza Strip by Palestinian traders and businesspeople who have Israeli ID cards is regulated under the Procedure for Processing Applications by Israelis to Travel from Israel to the Gaza Strip – Israelis Desk, dated February 11, 2019 (Hebrew, see Appendix 11). Applications for a permit to enter the Gaza Strip may be submitted in one of two cases:

1. Palestinians from east Jerusalem wishing to travel to the Gaza Strip for humanitarian, civilian purposes, such as developing projects pertaining to finance, civilian infrastructure, medicine and health

2. Palestinians with Israeli ID cards wishing to enter Gaza for commercial and business purposes. Applications must be submitted in writing to the Israelis Desk at the Gaza CLA, enclosing:

1. A copy of the applicant’s ID and a copy of the ID of the Gaza resident with whom he is scheduled to meet.

2. Palestinians with Israeli ID cards wishing to enter Gaza for commercial and business purposes.

Applications must be submitted in writing to the Israelis Desk at the Gaza CLA, enclosing:

1. A copy of the applicant’s ID and a copy of the ID of the Gaza resident with whom he is scheduled to meet.

2. A letter detailing the purpose of the visit, enclosing supporting documents.

• We recommend contacting the Israelis Desk by phone after the documents are sent and obtaining confirmation that the application has been admitted and that all enclosed documents are clear and legible.

• Refusals can be appealed in writing. Note clearly that the communication is an appeal against a decision, citing the date of the decision and enclose all available documents (including ones enclosed with the original application). Specify the grounds for the appeal.

Permits issued are valid for up to one month and subject to a permanent quota of 500 persons present in the Gaza Strip at any given time, shared across both categories. There is no age restriction.

Israelis Desk contact information: m.israelim@cogatmtkgaza.gov.il, Tel: 08-6741470; Fax: 02-9704703. Telephone line hours of operation: Monday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Part 10
Appendices
Appendices

Appendix 1 – Policy on movement of people between the State of Israel and the Gaza Strip. To view the document in Hebrew, see here.

Appendix 2 – Status of Authorizations for the entry into Israel of Palestinians, for overseas departures and the crossing points between Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. To view the document in Hebrew, see here.

Appendix 3 – Processing permit applications by Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip
To view the document in Hebrew, see here.

Appendix 4 – Procedure for issuing merchant permits, business permits, and permits for Palestinian Authority economy field workers (Hebrew)

Appendix 5 – Issuing permits for business purposes in Israel for Gaza Strip Residents (Hebrew)

Appendix 6 – Procedure on Travel by Merchants for Business in Israel or the Judea and Samaria Area (Hebrew)

Appendix 7 – Procedure for Issuing Commerce Permits (Hebrew)

Appendix 8 – Procedure on Issuing Business Man Gaza (BMG) Documentation to Merchants in the Strip (Hebrew)

Appendix 9 – Procedure for Coordinating Entry of Foreigners into the Gaza Strip. To view the document in Hebrew, see here.

Appendix 10 – Instructions to international organizations seeking to register with the Ministry of Social Welfare

Appendix 11 – Procedure for Processing Applications by Israelis to Travel from Israel to the Gaza Strip – Israelis Desk (Hebrew)​