December 10, 2023

Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced that the country does not plan to reopen its crossings into Gaza after the recent war, stating that there will be no link between Israel and Gaza for goods and people. The major commercial passageways at Kerem Shalom and Erez were closed by Israel following an attack by Hamas. Cohen suggested that goods could enter and exit Gaza through a sea route between Gaza and Cyprus, rather than using the Israeli crossings. However, this decision has raised concerns about permanently dividing Gaza from the West Bank and undermining the possibility of a Palestinian state that includes both territories. The Israeli-Gaza crossings have been integral for the exchange of goods and passage between Gaza and the West Bank, which are essential for linking the two territories. Despite the efforts for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s stance on the issue of Palestinian statehood remains uncertain. However, it is believed that the issue with the passages is more political than security-related, and Israel has a basic obligation to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.