Report Reveals Illicit Trade in Gaza-Egypt Passage Permits

By Yoni Weiss

Hamas security officers stand guard in front of the main gate of the Rafah border crossing while passengers cross the border to the Egyptian side of Rafah crossing with Egypt, in Rafah. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), in collaboration with Saheeh Masr and reported by Le Monde, reveals a thriving business of selling passage permits to Egypt for Gazans.

The dire situation in Gaza has turned this into a commercial venture, with brokers and travel agencies selling permits for leaving Gaza at prices ranging from $4,500 to $10,000. Many Gazans, facing challenges in accessing permits through official channels, resort to selling personal belongings to gather funds for their departure. Ultimately, the majority of these transactions result in scams, leaving those seeking to leave vulnerable and helpless.

This system allowing Gazans to purchase crossing permits gained prominence with the rise of Hamas to power in 2007. The sporadic opening of the Rafah crossing has contributed to the establishment of this parallel system. Since the commencement of the war on Oct. 7, resulting in the Rafah crossing’s closure, clandestine permits have facilitated the daily departure of approximately 200 Palestinians and Egyptians to Egypt.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!