Erez Crossing

Coordinates: 31°33′29.52″N 34°32′41″E / 31.5582000°N 34.54472°E / 31.5582000; 34.54472
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Erez Crossing

מעבר ארז
معبر بيت حانون
Coordinates31°33′29.52″N 34°32′41″E / 31.5582000°N 34.54472°E / 31.5582000; 34.54472
CrossesIsraeli Gaza Strip barrier
Locale Erez
Beit Hanoun
Other name(s)Beit Hanoun Crossing
Maintained byIsrael Defense Forces
Palestinian workers wait at the Erez Crossing to enter the Gaza Strip, July 2005

The Erez Crossing (Hebrew: מעבר ארז), also known as the Beit Hanoun Crossing (Arabic: معبر بيت حانون), is a border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel. It is located at the northern end of the Gaza Strip, between the Israeli kibbutz of Erez and the Palestinian town of Beit Hanoun.

Presently, it is the sole crossing point for individuals (as opposed to cargo) between the Gaza Strip and Israel by land, and is the second option for Gazans when the Rafah Crossing with Egypt is closed. Usage of the Erez Crossing is restricted to Palestinians living under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority, Egyptian citizens and nationals, and international aid officials. Israel permits Palestinian residents to travel via Erez in "exceptional humanitarian cases" with other exceptions in place for students and sportsmen travelling abroad, as well as merchants.[1][2][3] The Erez Crossing is managed by the Israel Defense Forces, unlike the Karni Crossing and the Kerem Shalom Crossing that are both managed by the Israel Airports Authority. The blockade of the Gaza Strip has had a significant impact on the crossing point, which is an opening in the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier.


The terminal is a modern hangar-style building with an area of about 35,000 m2 (375,000 sq ft) and a capacity for handling 45,000 people per day. It was completed in 2007 at a cost of $60 million.[4]


The Erez Crossing is part of a complex that formerly included the Erez Industrial Park. The Crossing connects Israel's Highway 4 with Gaza's Salah al-Din Road. Until the early 1970s, a railway line connecting Israel and the Gaza Strip also passed through the Crossing. Today, the railway has been dismantled in the Gaza Strip, and on the Israeli side Israel Railways' active railway line ends about 4.5 km northeast of the crossing, though in the future it may be re-extended to the Crossing to provide cargo service to the Gaza Strip.


Until September 2000, more than 26,000 Palestinian residents were able to travel to and through Israel daily (some 800,000 per month). After the start of the Second Intifada, this number dropped to less than 900 per day.[1] In 2004, there were 43,440 crossings at Erez into Israel monthly, on average. After the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the number dropped to 2,175 in 2008. After the Israel–Hamas ceasefire in 2014, the number increased to 15,000 per month in 2015.[2]

According to Gisha, 15,388 Palestinians used the Erez Crossing in January 2016 out of Gaza, the sole crossing. Of those, 2,896 were patients and their companions, 8,183 were merchants, and 4,309 were "others".[5]

Gaza–Israel conflict


On 20 July 2014, in response to reports that the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict had caused a dire shortage of hospital beds in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces opened IDF field hospital for Gazans at Erez Crossing.[6][7]


In April 2015, Al-Monitor wrote that Gazans are increasingly complaining about being blackmailed by Israeli security and intelligence services seeking to recruit Palestinian spies, by exploiting their need for work, money, medical treatment or travel. According to Col. Mohammed Abu Harbeed, information security specialist at the Gaza Interior Ministry, 70-80% of citizens passing through the Crossing were subject to recruitment attempts by Israel in 2014. He said they include merchants, patients, Gazans who are traveling for leisure purposes and students studying at foreign universities.[8] A father of a seven-year-old boy who wanted to cross through Erez for chemotherapy in an Israeli hospital was blackmailed by an Israeli officer. The father said the Israeli officer offered payment for a treatment in exchange for spying for Israel. After he had rejected the offer, he was denied an entry permit.[8] Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza revealed in September 2013 similar practices of arrest or pressure to let Gazans "choose between spying or returning to Gaza where they could die".[8] A Gazan merchant traveling via the Erez Crossing was offered financial support and significant tax benefits in exchange for giving him information on the security headquarters in Gaza.[8]

Erez crossing viewed from kibbutz Erez

A woman who was sick and needed treatment was denied a travel request to the West Bank because she had a Jordanian passport, not a Palestinian one.[9]

In April 2015, Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights reported an increasing number of Palestinian businessmen being detained while seeking to cross into Israel via the Erez Crossing for routine trips. Israeli interrogators ask them questions about occupational backgrounds, social interactions and their affiliation with political parties. The human rights group found that intelligence operatives frequently attempt to force businessmen to disclose alleged information about armed factions within Gaza. They are humiliated and treated inhumanely and if they refuse to collaborate, their entry permits are taken away.[10]


Also, Human Rights and Democracy Media Centre (SHAMS) reported in January 2016, that Israel uses the Erez Crossing as a trap for Palestinian passengers. According to SHAMS, Israeli intelligence questions most of the Palestinian passengers with permits to use the crossing. The kidnapping of tens of passengers by Israel after questioning them was reported, some of them patients.[3]


During the Israel–Hamas war, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades took control of the Erez Crossing, causing hundreds of Palestinians to make their way to the crossing.[11][12][citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b Exits of Palestinians to Israel and the West Bank via Erez Crossing Archived 2016-02-28 at the Wayback Machine. Gisha, January 2016
  2. ^ a b Gaza Crossings' Operations Status: Monthly Update Archived 2016-07-29 at the Wayback Machine, OCHA oPt, February 2016. Source here Archived 2016-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Rights group: Erez crossing a trap for Palestinians Archived 2022-06-30 at the Wayback Machine. The Middle East Monitor, 7 January 2016
  4. ^ Between Gaza and Israel, a Border Crossing in Need of Travelers Archived 2022-10-06 at the Wayback Machine. JODI RUDOREN, New York Times, 4 September 2014
  5. ^ Graphs Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine Exits of Palestinians to Israel and the West Bank via Erez Crossing. Gisha, January 2016 (point the mouse on the date)
  6. ^ Miller, Elhanan (3 August 2014). "On Gaza border, an Israeli field hospital stands empty". Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  7. ^ Wilson, Simone (27 August 2014). "Why didn't Gazans use the IDF field hospital?". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Israel's spy recruitment puts Gazans in tough spot Archived 2021-02-13 at the Wayback Machine. Rasha Abou Jalal, Al-Monitor, 29 April 2015
  9. ^ Will Israel's Erez crossing supersede Rafah? Archived 2019-02-05 at the Wayback Machine. Asmaa al-Ghoul, Al-Monitor, 9 June 2015
  10. ^ New Euro-Mid report documents Israeli harassment at Erez border crossing Archived 2022-01-19 at the Wayback Machine. Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, 12 April 2015
  11. ^ "Hundreds of Palestinians head to Erez Crossing: Roya correspondent". Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  12. ^ "Israel shows major damage to Erez Crossing with Gaza following Hamas assault". Times of Israel. 17 October 2023. Retrieved 27 January 2024.