Erez is the major crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Since 2000, Palestinians have not been able to leave Gaza by plane or boat, so this and the Rafah crossing into Egypt are the only ways in and out for general use.
Erez has been the target of several attacks by Palestinian militants. Israel has responded by closing the crossing for months at a time, allowing only urgent medical cases, diplomats and journalists through.
Before the intifada began in 2000, tens of thousands of Palestinians crossed into Israel every day to work. Numbers are now very restricted. Palestinians are also employed at the nearby Erez industrial zone (in Gaza) founded in 1972 for Israeli and Palestinian firms.
Another crossing point at Karni is used for goods, although that has also been subject to closures.
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Erez is a series of fortified checkpoints, including hydraulic gates, turnstiles and cameras
Before uprising, 30,000 Palestinians had permits to enter Israel to work
By June 2005, only a few hundred were allowed in on average per day
Erez was closed for 156 days in 2004