What is the Beit Hanoun Crossing? And How Is It Linked to the Palestinian Protests in Gaza? – PHOTOS

Palestinians waiting at the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, which was reopened after a two-week closure. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli authorities on Thursday resumed operations at the main Gaza crossing after a two-week closure. 

The Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing had been closed on September 15 ahead of the Jewish New Year holiday. 

The decision to close the crossing was one of the main reasons behind the protests held along the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel over the last two weeks. 

The reopening, on Thursday, September 28, is reportedly the outcome of Qatari mediations. 

What is the Beit Hanoun Crossing?

The Beit Hanoun Crossing is located in the northern Gaza Strip. 

Currently, it is the only crossing point between besieged Gaza and Israel. 

Not all Palestinians can use the Beit Hanoun Crossing. The usage is restricted to Palestinians holding a Palestinian Authority ID or an Israeli work permit, Egyptian citizens, and international aid workers.

It is the only pedestrian passageway for the nearly 18,500 Palestinians from Gaza who, for various reasons, are allowed to gain access to the West Bank and Israel. 

There are nearly 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza. 

The crossing is completely handled by the Israeli occupation army.

‘Collective Punishment’

Hazem Qassem, a spokesperson for the Palestinian group Hamas, said that the closure of the crossing constituted a form of “collective punishment” perpetrated by Israel. 

“It is the right of our people in the Gaza Strip to enter and exit freely,” Qassem was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

The decision to reopen the Beit Hanoun Crossing is considered by some analysts as a sign of de-escalation after two weeks of protest along the fence separating Gaza from Israel. 

The protests, where several Palestinians were killed and many wounded, were followed by Israeli airstrikes against Gaza’s military positions for several days in a row. 

The reopening reportedly followed negotiations among Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Hamas.

(All Photos: mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

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