Located in the northern Gaza Strip, the Erez crossing ("Beit Hanoun" crossing in Arabic) is the only operating crossing for people between Israel and the Gaza Strip. It is under complete Israeli control.
The crossing is currently used by patients seeking treatment in Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. Diplomats, foreign missions, journalists, laborers and Palestinian traders, and holders of entry permits into Israel all also pass through this crossing.
People crossing the checking installation are often subjected to humiliating and demeaning inspection procedures when passing through Beit Hanoun crossing. They have to travel on foot for more than two kilometers in order to reach the Israeli side of the crossing. Papers are handed to an invisible official, and travelers are ordered by loudspeaker through complex inspection procedures.
Palestinians, in particular, experience long waiting periods to obtain permission to cross.
Although the crossing was designed to deal with the passage of 20,000 persons a day, drivers of public transportation vehicles who work there indicate that not more than 20 to 30 persons cross a day, most of whom are foreign passport holders.
Palestinian and Israeli security officials coordinated their presence at this crossing prior to Hamaszzz*z takeover of Palestinian Authority security installations in June 2009. Now Hamas officials maintain a security presence a distance from the crossing area.