Protocol Concerning Safe Passage
between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
A. Pursuant to the Wye River Memorandum of October 23,
1998 and the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on
Implementation Timeline of Outstanding Commitments of
Agreements Signed and the Resumption of Permanent Status
Negotiations of September 4, 1999; and
In accordance with the Israeli-Palestinian Interim
Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in
Washington, D.C. on September 28, 1995 (hereinafter
"the Agreement"); and
With a view to implement Article X and the other related
provisions of Annex I to the Agreement "Protocol
Concerning Redeployment and Security Arrangements"
(hereinafter "Annex I"),
both sides hereby agree to the following "Protocol
Concerning Safe Passage between the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip" (hereinafter the "Protocol").
B. This Protocol establishes the modalities for the use
of safe passage. The arrangements set out in this
Protocol are subject to the Agreement and are not in any
way intended to derogate from any of its provisions,
including, inter alia, the provisions of the Agreement
regarding passage between the West Bank and Israel,
between the Gaza Strip and Israel and between the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip.
C. This Protocol may be amended by a decision of both
D. This Protocol will come into force upon the signing
thereof by both parties.
E. This Preamble is an integral part of this Protocol.
2. General Provisions
A. Article X of Annex I, and the attached map No. 6
delineate two routes through which Israel will make safe
1. Israel will ensure safe passage for persons and
transportation during daylight hours (from sunrise to
sunset) or as otherwise agreed, but in any event not
less than 10 hours a day.
2. Travelers will be required to commence their journey
i. one and a half hours for travelers using private
vehicles and taxis;
ii. two hours for commercial traffic and buses,
before sunset on the day of the journey.
1. Safe passage will be effected by means of privately
owned road vehicles and public transportation, as
detailed in paragraph 5 below.
2. Safe passage shall be via the following designated
i. the Erez crossing point (for persons and vehicles
ii. the Karni crossing point (Commercial) (for goods
iii. the Tarkumya crossing point (for persons, vehicles
and goods); and
iv. an additional crossing point around Mevo Horon.
1. The safe passage arrangements will not be available
on Yom Kippur, Israel's Memorial Day and Israel's
2. Both sides may make special arrangements for other
designated days, as agreed between them.
E. Israel shall signpost the safe passage routes clearly
and shall take all necessary measures to ensure smooth
movement while preserving safety and security on the
route or routes in use on any specific day.
F. Except as provided in paragraph 3.H.2 below, the use
of safe passage by residents of the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip does not afford them license to be present in
Israel except along the safe passage routes designated
for their use.
G. Israel may, for security or safety reasons,
temporarily halt the operation of a safe passage route
or modify the passage arrangements while ensuring that
one of the routes is kept open for safe passage. Notice
of such temporary closure or modification shall be given
to the Palestinian side, through agreed channels, as far
in advance as the circumstances will allow.
H. Israel may deny the use of its territory for safe
passage by persons who have seriously or repeatedly
violated the safe passage provisions detailed in this
Protocol or in the Agreement. Israel will notify the
Palestinian side, through agreed channels, of any
decision to deny the use of its territory as a result of
such violations. The notification shall include details
of the violations giving rise to the denial. The
individual in question shall have the right to request,
through the Palestinian side, that Israel reconsider its
I. Nothing in this Protocol will be construed as
derogating from Israel's right to apply inspection
measures necessary for ensuring security and safety at
the crossing points of the safe passage. Maximum efforts
will be made to maintain the dignity of persons using
safe passage and to implement inspection measures
relying heavily on brief and modern procedures.
J. Israel shall notify the Palestinian side of incidents
involving persons using safe passage routes through the
K. It is understood that the safe passage shall be
operated on a cost-reimbursement basis, in accordance
with an agreement on the modalities to be reached in the
Joint Economic Committee.
L. Israel shall be compensated for damages incurred by
Israel, Israelis or their property as a result of the
use of safe passage, in accordance with an agreement on
the modalities to be reached in the Joint Economic
3. Use of Safe Passage
A. Residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip wishing
to make use of safe passage shall arrive with a safe
passage card at the safe passage terminal at one of the
crossing points specified at paragraph 2.C.2 above,
where they will identify themselves by means of
identification documents as mentioned in paragraph 6,
Article 28, Appendix 1, Annex III to the Agreement.
B. After identification at the terminal, and after the
validity check of the safe passage card, travelers will
be issued with safe passage slips subject to the
provisions of this Protocol and the Agreement, except
for persons provided for in paragraph 2.H above and
paragraph 6 below.
1. The Palestinian side shall transfer to the Israeli
side all applications for safe passage cards, after
initial Palestinian security approval. The applications
shall be in accordance with the agreed procedures
(including the submission of all required information as
well as two updated photographs).
2. The Israeli side shall respond to the applications
within two working days. It is agreed that in all cases
in which the photographs submitted with the application
do not match the Israeli database, or in which the
photograph of the individual does not appear in the
Israeli database, the application shall not be processed
and shall be returned to the Palestinian side.
3. Safe passage cards shall be issued in the relevant
Israeli District Civil Liaison Office (DCL) in the West
Bank or in the Regional Civil Affairs Subcommittee
(RCAC) in the Gaza Strip.
4. On-duty Palestinian policemen and minors under age
14, traveling in accordance with the provisions of
paragraphs 7 and 3.I below, respectively, shall not be
required to receive a safe passage card for the use of
5. Men over 50 and women shall generally receive their
safe passage cards through the Palestinian side, except
for special cases. The Israeli side will make all
efforts to minimize such exceptions.
6. In light of the special nature of the safe passage,
those persons whose applications for safe passage have
been approved shall receive from the Israeli side their
safe passage cards at the Israeli side of the District
Coordination Offices (DCOs). An unarmed civilian
Palestinian liaison officer shall be present throughout
all stages of this process. Receipt of the safe passage
card shall be contingent on the individual being
definitively identified by the Israeli side, using the
best available methods (including, in the near future,
biometric information), as agreed upon by the two sides.
D. A safe passage card shall be valid for one year for
multiple two-way journeys on the safe passage routes.
Travelers can only use safe passage within the operation
time as provided for in paragraphs 2.B.1 and 2.B.2
E. Upon completion of the journey, the safe passage
slips and safe passage stickers shall be returned to the
Israeli authorities at the destination crossing point.
F. Residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in
possession of permits enabling them to enter Israel will
be able to use these permits as safe passage cards,
subject to the conditions of such permits and to the
modalities set out in this Protocol.
1. Individual safe passage slips will be issued and
stamped by the Israeli authorities at the crossing
points, with the time of departure from the crossing
point and the estimated time of arrival (hereinafter
"the designated time").
2. The designated time shall enable completion of the
journey within a reasonable time.
1. Persons and vehicles using safe passage under these
arrangements shall neither break their journey nor
depart from the designated routes, and shall complete
the passage within the designated time, unless a delay
is caused by a medical emergency or a technical
2. Notwithstanding paragraph 3.H.1 above, in the case of
a medical emergency travelers may drive directly to the
nearest hospital or first aid station. Such travelers
will be required to report the incident to the relevant
authorities at the destination crossing point as soon as
3. In the case of a technical breakdown, travelers must
remain on the safe passage route with their vehicles
until the arrival of the Israeli police and follow their
instructions. In addition, travelers may stop another
vehicle using safe passage and request the driver to
inform the authorities at the destination crossing point
of the case.
a. Minors under the age of 16 who are accompanied by a
parent and registered in the identity card of that
parent will not be required to carry individual safe
b. Such minors shall identify themselves via the
identity card of the accompanying parent.
a. Minors who are not accompanied by a parent may also
use safe passage without carrying a safe passage card
i. they are under the age of 14; and
ii. they are accompanied by an adult (18 or over).
b. Such minors shall identify themselves by means of a
birth certificate or a certified copy of the parent's
identity card in which they are registered.
J. Persons and vehicles shall not carry explosives,
firearms or other weapons or ammunition except for
special cases that may be agreed by both sides.
Transportation of dangerous substances shall be in
accordance with the provisions of the Agreement.
4. Use of Safe Passage Routes by
Visitors from Abroad
A. Provisions of the Agreement and this Protocol
regarding the use of safe passage will apply to visitors
to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from abroad, without
derogating from the provisions of the Agreement
B. Visitors will identify themselves by means of: (i)
valid visitors' permits; and (ii) passports or travel
documents when using the safe passage.
5. Use of Vehicles on Safe Passage
1. Residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip wishing
to use their privately owned vehicles to travel along
the safe passage shall apply for a vehicle safe passage
permit through the Palestinian side. The Israeli side
shall respond to such applications within five working
days. Such applications shall include the identification
documents referred to in paragraph 3.A above; safe
passage cards or permits enabling them entry into
Israel; valid drivers' licenses; valid vehicle licenses;
and valid insurance policies. The vehicle safe passage
permits shall be issued in the relevant Israeli DCL in
the West Bank or in the RCAC in the Gaza Strip and
transferred to the Palestinian side.
2. In addition to the above, the two sides may agree on
specific categories or persons who may use a vehicle not
owned by them. Such categories include, inter alia: (i)
persons employed by the Palestinian Authority driving a
vehicle owned by the Palestinian Authority; (ii) persons
employed by a private company driving a vehicle owned by
the private company; and (iii) taxi drivers (only one
designated driver per taxi). In such cases, in addition
to all other requirements of this Protocol, the person
shall be required to possess and submit a written permit
signed by the Palestinian side and by the vehicle-owner
authorizing that person's use of the vehicle for safe
1. On the day of the journey, the drivers will arrive at
the safe passage terminal at the departure crossing
point with their vehicle safe passage permits; safe
passage cards or permits enabling them entry into
Israel; identity cards; valid drivers' licenses; valid
vehicle licenses; valid insurance policies; and, if
applicable, the permit referred to in paragraph 5.A.2
above. After identification, and after the validity
check of the vehicle safe passage permit, drivers will
be issued with an individual safe passage slip and a
safe passage sticker, to be displayed on the right-hand
side of the front windshield of the vehicle.
2. The names of all passengers traveling in the vehicle
shall be listed on a separate document to be attached to
the driver's safe passage slip.
3. Persons listed as travelers in a particular vehicle
must remain with the vehicle for the full duration of
their safe passage journey, except for the medical
emergencies provided for in paragraph 3.H.2 above.
C. Residents of the West Bank or the Gaza Strip in
possession of valid permits enabling them to enter
Israel with their vehicles, will be able to use these
permits as vehicle safe passage permits, subject to the
conditions of such permits and to the modalities set out
in this Protocol.
1. Vehicle safe passage permits shall be valid for not
less than three months from the date of issuance, for
multiple two-way journeys.
2. Certain persons who are acceptable to both sides will
be issued vehicle safe passage permits, the validity of
which shall be for more than the period specified in
paragraph 5.D.1 above and up to one year. Such permits
shall be issued provided that the Joint Civil Affairs
Coordination and Cooperation Committee (CAC) had applied
for them through the relevant DCL in the West Bank or
the RCAC in the Gaza Strip.
E. All vehicles used by residents of the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip for the purpose of traveling via safe
passage must have valid licensing in accordance with
Article 38, Appendix 1, Annex III to the Agreement and
at least valid compulsory insurance policies, in
accordance with Article 19, Appendix 1, Annex III to the
Agreement, and Article XI, Annex V to the Agreement.
F. All vehicles used for the purpose of safe passage
shall meet Israeli standards and applicable Israeli law.
1. "Sterile" public transportation vehicles
shall operate between Tarkumya and Erez crossing points.
2. The public transportation vehicles will be designated
for the purpose of safe passage only.
3. The public transportation vehicles as well as their
drivers should be acceptable to both sides.
H. In special emergency related cases, to be handled
through agreed channels, safe passage may be used by
privately owned vehicles without having submitted an
application in advance.
6. Use of Safe Passage by Persons Denied
Entry into Israel
A. Persons who are denied entry into Israel will use
safe passage by means of shuttle buses which will he
escorted by Israeli security forces vehicles, and which
will operate from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Mondays and
Wednesdays of every week.
B. Applications by persons denied entry into Israel to
use the safe passage must be submitted to, and agreed
upon, at least five working days prior to the planned
C. Cases of persons denied entry into Israel whose
applications to use safe passage are not agreed upon
shall he discussed in the agreed channels.
1. Persons denied entry into Israel who have used the
safe passage will be able to return that same day to
their original point of departure via the mechanism
established in paragraph 6.A above.
2. Persons denied entry into Israel and who have used
the safe passage will be able to return to their
original point of departure by shuttle bus within two
weeks following the date of departure with notification
through the agreed channels at least 1 working day prior
to the planned journey.
3. Persons denied entry into Israel and who have stayed
for a period in excess of that specified in paragraph
6.D.2 above, will be required to submit applications as
provided for in paragraph 6.B above.
1. The aforementioned shuttle buses shall have
Palestinian registration and shall be driven by
2. The aforementioned shuttle buses as well as their
drivers should be acceptable to both sides.
7. Passage of Palestinian Police
A. In accordance with paragraph 2.g, Article X of Annex
I, uniformed and plainclothes Palestinian policemen
required to use the safe passage so as to perform their
duty in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, or Palestinian
policemen other than in instances covered by paragraph
7.E below, using privately owned vehicles, official
vehicles or other means of transportation, will be able
to use the safe passage after the Palestinian police has
submitted an application and after that application was
approved, through the relevant DCO two working days
prior to the planned journey.
B. Palestinian policemen provided for in paragraph 7.A
above and Palestinian police vehicles and equipment
moving between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip via safe
passage shall be escorted by Israeli security forces
C. When in safe passage, the weapons of the Palestinian
policemen will be handed over to the Israeli police and
placed in a closed trailer affixed to the Israel police
vehicle. A Palestinian policeman may travel in the
aforementioned Israeli police vehicle. The vehicle shall
be driven by a member of the Israeli police. Upon
completion of the safe passage journey the weapons shall
be handed over to the Palestinian officer in charge in
D. Cases of usage of safe passage by Palestinian
policemen requiring special attention and arrangements
will be dealt with and coordinated through the Joint
Coordination and Cooperation Committee for Mutual
Security Purposes (JSC).
E. The provisions set out in this Protocol and in the
Agreement relating to regular persons will apply to
Palestinian policemen using safe passage when off duty.
Such policemen may only use safe passage when unarmed
and out of uniform.
8. Use of Safe Passage for Commercial
A. Goods transferred to or from the Gaza Strip via the
safe passage will enter or leave the Gaza Strip through
the Karni (Commercial) crossing point.
B. Commercial vehicles carrying goods from the West Bank
to the Gaza Strip via safe passage will travel along the
relevant safe passage route as far as the Yad Mordechai
Junction, and from there branch off to Karni as
indicated on Map No. 6 (attached to the Agreement).
Commercial vehicles carrying goods from the Gaza Strip
to the West Bank will follow the same routes in reverse.
C. All provisions of this Protocol and the Agreement
relating to use of vehicles on safe passage routes shall
apply to the use of commercial vehicles.
D. The provisions in this paragraph 8 shall not
prejudice any other mechanism established in the
Agreement, or based on the Agreement, with respect to
passage of goods.
E. Further details concerning commercial traffic will be
agreed upon in a special sub-committee in the CAC. Until
decided otherwise, the current arrangements adopted by
the CAC concerning commercial traffic shall remain in
9. Future Meetings for Improving
Operation of the Safe Passage
A Continuing Safe Passage Committee shall meet regularly
to supervise the implementation of this Protocol and to
discuss ways to improve the safe passage operation, as
agreed between both sides.
10. Use of Safe Passage by the Ra'ees of
the Executive Authority
Arrangements for the use of safe passage by the Ra'ees
of the Executive Authority shall be discussed in a
special sub-committee through the JSC.
11. Final Clauses
A. Consistent with paragraph 6, Article XXXI of the
Agreement, the arrangements included in this Protocol
are without prejudice to the permanent status
B. There shall be a Liaison Bureau at agreed locations
close to each of the safe passage crossing points. In
addition, the Palestinian side shall establish
coordination points at agreed locations on the roads
leading to the crossing points. The function of the
coordination points shall be to ensure the smooth and
orderly movement of persons and vehicles to the crossing
points, in accordance with their capacity.
C. In between the operation of the Southern crossing
point of the safe passage and the Northern crossing
point of the safe passage, Israel will facilitate
arrangements for the movement between the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip, using non-safe passage routes other than
the Southern route of the safe passage.
Done at Jerusalem, this 5th day of October, 1999.