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Despite the ‘disengagement’ of 2005, Israel continues to be the Occupying Power in the Gaza Strip and the relevant rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) apply throughout the territory.

The Israeli ‘Disengagement Plan’ from the Gaza Strip was completed in September 2005, resulting in the dismantling of all Israeli settlements, evacuating Israeli settlers and the withdrawal of its armed forces. However, Israel retained control over the movement of persons and goods into and out of Gaza to the West Bank, through Israel and Jordan, and maintains severe restrictions and control over territorial waters.  

Since 2007, Israel severed movement restrictions rarely allowing Palestinians and goods in or out of the Gaza Strip through its borders. In the same years, and subsequent to the Hamas-de facto authority control of the Gaza Strip, Israel declared a series of collective punitive measures against the Gaza Strip and declared it a hostile entity. This led to shortages in fuel and electricity supply, as well as severe reductions in basic supplies (including medicine) while causing sharp increases in prices of goods.

Following international pressure on Israel in 2010 as a result of its attacks on the Turkish flotilla to Gaza, Israel reduced some of the restrictions on the Strip. Since December 2011, Egypt has opened the Rafah Crossing to Palestinians, subject to restrictions of the Egyptian authorities.

 Read about hostilities in Gaza and IHL