• Under the
Palestinian Authority according to the
• _De facto_ Administrated by
Hamas since July 2007. • Claimed by
State of Palestine a
31°31′N 34°27′E / 31.517°N 34.450°E / 31.517; 34.450
* ∟ Palestinian
365 km2 (141 sq mi)
• END 2015 ESTIMATE
5,046/km2 (13,069.1/sq mi)
Egyptian pound b (EGP )
* Israeli shekel c (ILS)
* (see also
Palestinian currency )
Palestine Standard Time (UTC +2)
• SUMMER (DST )
Palestine Summer Time (UTC +3)
State of Palestine is recognized by 137 members of the United
* Used since 1951.
* Used since 1986; as in Israel, replaced the old Israeli shekel
(1980–1985) and the
Israeli lira (1967–1980).
The GAZA STRIP (/ˈɡɑːzəˈstrɪp/ ;
Arabic : قطاع
غزة _Qiṭāʿ Ġazzah_ ), or simply GAZA, is a small
self-governing Palestinian territory on the eastern coast of
Mediterranean Sea , that borders
Egypt on the southwest for 11
kilometers (6.8 mi) and
Israel on the east and north along a 51 km (32
mi) border. Gaza, together with the
West Bank , constitute the
Palestinian territories claimed by the
Palestinians as the State of
Palestine . The territories of Gaza and the
West Bank are separated
from each other by Israeli territory. Both fall under the jurisdiction
Palestinian Authority , but Gaza has since June 2007 been
Hamas , a Palestinian Islamic organization which came to
power in free elections in 2006. It has been placed under an Israeli
and U.S.-led international economic and political boycott from that
The territory is 41 kilometers (25 mi) long, and from 6 to 12
kilometers (3.7 to 7.5 mi) wide, with a total area of 365 square
kilometers (141 sq mi). With around 1.85 million
some 362 square kilometers, Gaza ranks as the 3rd most densely
populated polity in the world. An extensive Israeli buffer zone
within the Strip renders much land off-limits to Gaza's Palestinians.
Gaza has an annual population growth rate of 2.91% (2014 est.), the
13th highest in the world, and is often referred to as overcrowded.
The population is expected to increase to 2.1 million in 2020. By that
time, Gaza may be rendered unliveable, if present trends continue.
Due to the Israeli and Egyptian border closures and the Israeli sea
and air blockade, the population is not free to leave or enter the
Gaza Strip, nor allowed to freely import or export goods. Sunni
Muslims make up the predominant part of the Palestinian population in
the Gaza Strip.
Despite the 2005
Israeli disengagement from Gaza
Israeli disengagement from Gaza , the United
Nations, international human rights organisations, and the majority of
governments and legal commentators consider the territory to be still
occupied by Israel, supported by additional restrictions placed on
Gaza by Egypt.
Israel maintains direct external control over Gaza and
indirect control over life within Gaza: it controls Gaza's air and
maritime space, and six of Gaza's seven land crossings. It reserves
the right to enter Gaza at will with its military and maintains a
no-go buffer zone within the Gaza territory. Gaza is dependent on
Israel for its water, electricity, telecommunications, and other
Hamas won the
Palestinian legislative election, 2006 ,
Palestinian political party
Fatah refused to join the proposed
coalition, until a short-lived unity government agreement was brokered
Saudi Arabia . When this collapsed under joint Israeli and United
States pressure, the
Palestinian Authority instituted a non-Hamas
government in the
West Bank while
Hamas formed a government on its own
in Gaza . Further economic sanctions were imposed by
Israel and the
European Quartet against Hamas. A brief civil war between the two
groups had broken out in Gaza when, apparently under a U.S.-backed
Fatah contested Hamas’s administration.
Hamas emerged the
victor and expelled Fatah-allied officials and members of the PA's
security apparatus from the Strip, and has remained the sole
governing power in Gaza since that date. Gaza Strip, with
Israeli-controlled borders and limited fishing zone Gaza City
skyline, 2007 Downtown Gaza, 2012 Gaza, August 2014
after Israeli bombardments
* 1 History
* 1.1 Rule over Gaza, overview
* 1.2 Prior to 1923
* 1.3 1923–48 British Mandate
* 1.4 1948 All-Palestine government
* 1.5 1959–67 Egyptian occupation
* 1.6 1967 Israeli occupation
* 1.7 1979 Israel-
Egypt Peace Treaty
* 1.8 1994: Gaza under
* 1.9 2000
* 1.10 2005 Israel\'s unilateral disengagement
* 1.11 Post-2006 elections violence
* 1.12 2007
* 1.13 2007 issues
* 1.13.1 Violence
* 1.13.2 Egyptian border barrier breach
* 1.14 2008 Gaza War
* 1.15 A 2014 unity government with
2014 Israel–Gaza conflict
* 1.16.1 Connections to Sinai insurgency
* 2 Governance
* 2.2 Other political and militant groups in Gaza
* 2.3 Deal with
* 3 Status
* 3.2 Control over airspace
* 3.3 Buffer Zone
* 3.4 Gaza blockade
* 3.4.1 Movement of people
* 4 Economy
* 4.1 After Oslo (1994–2007)
* 4.2 Following
Hamas takeover (2007–present)
* 4.2.1 2012 fuel crisis
* 4.2.2 Current budget
* 5 Geography and climate
* 6 Natural resources
* 7 Demographics
* 8 Religion and culture
* 8.1 Religious compliance of population to Islam
* 8.1.1 Islamic law in Gaza
* 8.1.2 Islamic politics
* 8.1.3 Salafism
* 8.2 Archaeology
* 9 Education
* 10 Health
* 10.1 Statistics
* 10.2 Healthcare availability
* 11 Culture and sports
* 11.1 Fine arts
* 11.2 Athletics
* 12 Transport and communications
* 12.1 Transport
* 12.1.1 Highways
* 12.1.2 Rail transport
* 12.1.3 Marine transport
* 12.1.4 Air transport
* 12.2 Telecommunications
* 12.2.1 Telephone service
* 12.2.2 Television and radio
* 13 See also
* 14 Notes and references
* 15 Bibliography
* 16 External links
History of Gaza
RULE OVER GAZA, OVERVIEW
Gaza was part of the
Ottoman Empire , before it was occupied by the
United Kingdom (1918–1948),
Egypt (1948–1967), and then Israel,
which in 1994 granted the
Palestinian Authority in Gaza limited
self-governance through the
Oslo Accords . Since 2007, the Gaza Strip
has been _de facto_ governed by
Hamas , which claims to represent the
Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian people.
The territory is still considered to be occupied by
Israel by the
United Nations, International human rights organisations, and the
majority of governments and legal commentators, despite the 2005
Israeli disengagement from Gaza
Israeli disengagement from Gaza and additional restrictions placed
on Gaza by Egypt.
Israel maintains direct external control over Gaza
and indirect control over life within Gaza: it controls Gaza's air and
maritime space, and six of Gaza's seven land crossings. It reserves
the right to enter Gaza at will with its military and maintains a
no-go buffer zone within the Gaza territory. Gaza is dependent on
Israel for its water, electricity, telecommunications, and other
Gaza Strip acquired its current northern and eastern boundaries
at the cessation of fighting in the 1948 war , confirmed by the
Egypt Armistice Agreement on 24 February 1949. Article V of
the Agreement declared that the demarcation line was not to be an
international border. At first the
Gaza Strip was officially
administered by the
All-Palestine Government , established by the Arab
League in September 1948. All-Palestine in the
Gaza Strip was managed
under the military authority of Egypt, functioning as a puppet state ,
until it officially merged into the
United Arab Republic
United Arab Republic and dissolved
in 1959. From the time of the dissolution of the All-Palestine
Government until 1967, the
Gaza Strip was directly administered by an
Egyptian military governor.
Israel captured the
Gaza Strip from
Egypt in the
Six-Day War in 1967.
Pursuant to the
Oslo Accords signed in 1993, the Palestinian Authority
became the administrative body that governed Palestinian population
Israel maintained control of the airspace , territorial
waters and border crossings with the exception of the land border with
Egypt which is controlled by Egypt. In 2005,
Israel withdrew from the
Gaza Strip under their unilateral disengagement plan .
In July 2007, after winning the 2006 Palestinian legislative election
Hamas became the elected government. In 2007,
Hamas expelled the
Fatah from Gaza. This broke the Unity Government between
Gaza Strip and the West Bank, creating two separate governments for
the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
In 2014, following reconciliation talks ,
Fatah formed a
Palestinian unity government within the
West Bank and Gaza. Rami
Hamdallah became the coalition's Prime Minister and has planned for
elections in Gaza and the
West Bank . In July 2014, a set of lethal
Israel led to the 2014 Israel–Gaza
Following the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, the territory has been
subjected to a blockade, maintained by
Israel and Egypt, with Israel
arguing that it is necessary to impede
Hamas from rearming and to
Palestinian rocket attacks and
Egypt preventing Gaza
residents from entering Egypt. The blockades by
Israel and Egypt
extends to drastic reductions in basic construction materials, medical
supplies, and food stuffs. Under the blockade, Gaza is viewed by
some critics as an "open-air prison", although the claim is
PRIOR TO 1923
History of Gaza
1923–48 BRITISH MANDATE
Gaza War Cemetery
The Palestine Mandate was based on the principles contained in
Article 22 of the draft
Covenant of the League of Nations and the San
Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920 by the principal Allied and
associated powers after the First World War. The mandate formalized
British rule in the southern part of
Ottoman Syria from 1923–1948.
1948 ALL-PALESTINE GOVERNMENT
On 22 September 1948, towards the end of the
1948 Arab-Israeli War ,
All-Palestine Government was proclaimed in the Egyptian-occupied
Gaza City by the
Arab League . It was conceived partly as an Arab
League attempt to limit the influence of Transjordan in Palestine. The
All-Palestine Government was quickly recognized by six of the then
seven members of the Arab League:
Saudi Arabia , and
Yemen , but not by Transjordan. It was not
recognized by any country outside the Arab League.
After the cessation of hostilities, the Israel-
Agreement of 24 February 1949 established the separation line between
Egyptian and Israeli forces, and established what became the present
boundary between the
Gaza Strip and Israel. Both sides declared that
the boundary was not an international border. The southern border with
Egypt continued to be the international border which had been drawn in
1906 between the
Ottoman Empire and the
British Empire .
Palestinians living in the
Gaza Strip or
Egypt were issued
Egypt did not offer them citizenship. From
the end of 1949, they received aid directly from
UNRWA . During the
Suez Crisis (1956), the
Gaza Strip and the
Sinai Peninsula were
occupied by Israeli troops, who withdrew under international pressure.
The government was accused of being little more than a façade for
Egyptian control, with negligible independent funding or influence. It
subsequently moved to
Cairo and dissolved in 1959 by decree of
Gamal Abdul Nasser .
1959–67 EGYPTIAN OCCUPATION
Main article: Occupation of the
Gaza Strip by
Egypt Che Guevara
visiting Gaza in 1959
After the dissolution of the
All-Palestine Government in 1959, under
the excuse of pan-Arabism,
Egypt continued to occupy the Gaza Strip
Egypt never annexed the Gaza Strip, but instead treated it
as a controlled territory and administered it through a military
governor. The influx of over 200,000 refugees from former Mandatory
Palestine , roughly a quarter of those who fled or were expelled from
their homes during, and in the aftermath of, the 1948 Arab–Israeli
War into Gaza resulted in a dramatic decrease in the standard of
living. Because the Egyptian government restricted movement to and
from the Gaza Strip, its inhabitants could not look elsewhere for
1967 ISRAELI OCCUPATION
In June 1967, during the
Six-Day War ,
Israel Defense Forces captured
the Gaza Strip.
Subsequent to this military victory,
Israel created the first
settlement bloc in the Strip,
Gush Katif , in the southwest corner of
the Strip near
Rafah and the Egyptian border on a spot where a small
kibbutz had previously existed for 18 months between 1946–48. In
total, between 1967 and 2005,
Israel established 21 settlements in
Gaza, comprising 20% of the total territory.
1979 ISRAEL-EGYPT PEACE TREATY
On March 26, 1979,
Egypt signed the Israel-
Treaty . Among other things, the treaty provided for the withdrawal
Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the Sinai Peninsula,
Israel had captured during the Six-Day War. The Egyptians agreed
to keep the
Sinai Peninsula demilitarized. The final status of the
Gaza Strip, and other relations between
Israel and Palestinians, was
not dealt with in the treaty.
Egypt renounced all territorial claims
to territory north of the international border. The Gaza Strip
remained under Israeli military administration until 1994. During that
time, the military was responsible for the maintenance of civil
facilities and services.
Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty 1979, a 100-meter-wide
buffer zone between Gaza and
Egypt known as the
Philadelphi Route was
established. The international border along the Philadelphi corridor
Egypt and the
Gaza Strip is 7 miles (11 km) long. With the
Agreement on Movement and Access , known as the
Rafah Agreement , in
Israel ended its presence in the
Philadelphi Route and
transferred responsibility for security arrangements to
Egypt and the
PA under the supervision of the EU. The
Egyptian army has since
Gaza Strip smuggling tunnels "in order to fight any
element of terrorism", according to an Egyptian security official.
The Gaza border crossing into
Egypt remains under the full control of
Egypt has alternately restricted or allowed goods and people to
cross that terrestrial border.
1994: GAZA UNDER PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
In September 1992, Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin told a
delegation from the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy "I would
like Gaza to sink into the sea, but that won't happen, and a solution
must be found."
In May 1994, following the Palestinian-Israeli agreements known as
Oslo Accords , a phased transfer of governmental authority to the
Palestinians took place. Much of the Strip (except for the settlement
blocs and military areas) came under Palestinian control. The Israeli
Gaza City and other urban areas, leaving the new
Palestinian Authority to administer and police those areas. The
Palestinian Authority, led by
Yasser Arafat , chose
Gaza City as its
first provincial headquarters. In September 1995,
Israel and the PLO
signed a second peace agreement , extending the Palestinian Authority
West Bank towns.
Between 1994 and 1996,
Israel built the
Israeli Gaza Strip barrier to
improve security in Israel. The barrier was largely torn down by
Palestinians at the beginning of the
Al-Aqsa Intifada in September
2000. View of Gaza in 2003.
2000 SECOND INTIFADA
Second Intifada broke out in September 2000 with waves of
protest, civil unrest and bombings against Israeli military and
civilians, many of them perpetrated by suicide bombers. The Second
Intifada also marked the beginning of rocket attacks and bombings of
Israeli border localities by Palestinian guerrillas from Gaza Strip,
especially by the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad movements.
Between December 2000 and June 2001, the barrier between Gaza and
Israel was reconstructed. A barrier on the Gaza Strip-
Egypt border was
constructed starting in 2004. The main crossing points are the
Erez Crossing into
Israel and the southern
into Egypt. The eastern Karni Crossing used for cargo, closed down in
Israel controls the Gaza Strip's northern borders, as well as
its territorial waters and airspace.
Egypt controls Gaza Strip's
southern border, under an agreement between it and Israel. Neither
Egypt permits free travel from Gaza as both borders are
heavily militarily fortified. "
Egypt maintains a strict blockade on
Gaza in order to isolate
Hamas from Islamist insurgents in the Sinai."
2005 ISRAEL\'S UNILATERAL DISENGAGEMENT
Israeli disengagement from Gaza
Israeli disengagement from Gaza
In February 2005, the
Knesset approved a unilateral disengagement
plan and began removing Israeli settlers from the
Gaza Strip in 2005.
All Israeli settlements in the
Gaza Strip and the joint
Israeli-Palestinian Erez Industrial Zone were dismantled, and 9,000
Israelis, most living in
Gush Katif , were forcibly evicted.
On 12 September 2005, the Israeli cabinet formally declared an end to
Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip.
"The Oslo Agreements gave
Israel full control over Gaza's airspace,
but established that the
Palestinians could build an airport in the
area..." and the disengagement plan states that: "
Israel will hold
sole control of Gaza airspace and will continue to carry out military
activity in the waters of the Gaza Strip." "Therefore, Israel
continues to maintain exclusive control of Gaza's airspace and the
territorial waters , just as it has since it occupied the Gaza Strip
Human Rights Watch has advised the UN Human Rights Council
that it (and others) consider
Israel to be the occupying power of the
Gaza Strip because
Israel controls Gaza Strip's airspace , territorial
waters and controls the movement of people or goods in or out of Gaza
by air or sea. The EU considers Gaza to be occupied.
withdrew from the
Philadelphi Route , a narrow strip of land adjacent
to the border with Egypt, after
Egypt agreed to secure its side of the
border. Under the
Oslo Accords , the
Philadelphi Route was to remain
under Israeli control to prevent the smuggling of weapons and people
across the Egyptian border, but
Egypt (under EU supervision) committed
itself to patrolling the area and preventing such incidents. Israel
maintained control over the crossings in and out of Gaza, and the
Rafah crossing between
Egypt and Gaza was monitored by special
Israel Defense Forces left the
Gaza Strip on 1 September 2005 as
part of Israel\'s unilateral disengagement plan and all Israeli
citizens were evicted from the area. In November 2005, an "Agreement
on Movement and Access" between
Israel and the Palestinian Authority
was brokered by then US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice to improve
Palestinian freedom of movement and economic activity in the Gaza
Strip. Under its terms, the
Rafah crossing with
Egypt was to be
reopened, with transits monitored by the Palestinian National
Authority and the
European Union . Only people with Palestinian ID, or
foreign nationals, by exception, in certain categories, subject to
Israeli oversight, were permitted to cross in and out. All goods,
vehicles and trucks to and from
Egypt passed through the Kerem Shalom
Crossing , under full Israeli supervision. Goods were also permitted
transit at the
Karni crossing in the north.
After the Israeli withdrawal in 2005 the
Oslo Accords give the
Palestinian Authority administrative authority in the Gaza Strip. The
Border Crossing has been supervised by EU
Rafah under an agreement finalized in November 2005. The Oslo
Israel to control the airspace and sea space.
POST-2006 ELECTIONS VIOLENCE
Main article: Fatah–
In the Palestinian parliamentary elections held on 25 January 2006,
Hamas won a plurality of 42.9% of the total vote and 74 out of 132
total seats (56%). When
Hamas assumed power the next month, Israel,
the United States, the European Union,
Russia and the United Nations
Hamas accept all previous agreements, recognize Israel's
right to exist, and renounce violence; when
Hamas refused, they cut
off direct aid to the
Palestinian Authority , although some aid money
was redirected to humanitarian organizations not affiliated with the
government. The resulting political disorder and economic stagnation
led to many
Palestinians emigrating from the Gaza Strip.
In January 2007, fighting erupted between
Fatah . The
deadliest clashes occurred in the northern Gaza Strip, where General
Muhammed Gharib, a senior commander of the Fatah-dominated Preventive
Security Force , died when a rocket hit his home.
On 30 January 2007, a truce was negotiated between
Fatah and Hamas.
However, after a few days, new fighting broke out. On 1 February,
Hamas killed 6 people in an ambush on a Gaza convoy which delivered
equipment for Abbas'
Palestinian Presidential Guard , according to
diplomats, meant to counter smuggling of more powerful weapons into
Hamas for its fast-growing "Executive Force". According to
Hamas, the deliveries to the Presidential Guard were intended to
instigate sedition (against Hamas), while withholding money and
assistance from the Palestinian people.
Fatah fighters stormed a
Hamas-affiliated university in the Gaza Strip. Officers from Abbas'
presidential guard battled
Hamas gunmen guarding the Hamas-led
In May 2007, new fighting broke out between the factions. Interior
Minister Hani Qawasmi , who had been considered a moderate civil
servant acceptable to both factions, resigned due to what he termed
harmful behavior by both sides.
Fighting spread in the Gaza Strip, with both factions attacking
vehicles and facilities of the other side. Following a breakdown in an
Israel launched an air strike which destroyed
a building used by Hamas. Ongoing violence prompted fear that it could
bring the end of the Fatah-
Hamas coalition government , and possibly
the end of the Palestinian authority.
Moussa Abu Marzouk blamed the conflict between Hamas
Fatah on Israel, stating that the constant pressure of economic
sanctions resulted in the "real explosion." Associated Press reporter
Ibrahim Barzak wrote an eyewitness account stating: "Today I have seen
people shot before my eyes, I heard the screams of terrified women and
children in a burning building, and I argued with gunmen who wanted to
take over my home. I have seen a lot in my years as a journalist in
Gaza, but this is the worst it's been."
From 2006–2007 more than 600
Palestinians were killed in fighting
Hamas and Fatah. In the aftermath of the Gaza War , a series
of violent acts killed 54 Palestinians, while hundreds have claimed
they were tortured. 349
Palestinians were killed in fighting between
factions in 2007. 160
Palestinians killed each other in June alone.
2007 HAMAS TAKEOVER
Main article: Fatah–
Hamas battle in Gaza The Al Deira Hotel
on the Gaza coast, 2009
Following the victory of
Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian legislative
Fatah formed the Palestinian authority national
unity government headed by
Ismail Haniya . Shortly after,
control of the
Gaza Strip in the course of the Battle of Gaza ,
seizing government institutions and replacing
Fatah and other
government officials with its own. By 14 June,
Hamas fully controlled
the Gaza Strip. Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas responded by
declaring a state of emergency , dissolving the unity government and
forming a new government without
Hamas participation. PNA security
forces in the
West Bank arrested a number of
In late June 2008, Egypt,
Saudi Arabia and
Jordan declared the West
Bank-based cabinet formed by Abbas as "the sole legitimate Palestinian
Egypt moved its embassy from Gaza to the West Bank.
Saudi Arabia and
Egypt supported reconciliation and a new unity
government and pressed Abbas to start talks with Hamas. Abbas had
always conditioned this on
Hamas returning control of the Gaza Strip
to the Palestinian Authority.
Hamas visited a number of countries,
including Russia, and the EU member states. Opposition parties and
politicians called for a dialogue with
Hamas as well as an end to the
After the takeover,
Egypt closed their border crossings
with Gaza . Palestinian sources reported that
European Union monitors
Border Crossing , on the Gaza–
Egypt border for fear
of being kidnapped or harmed. Arab foreign ministers and Palestinian
officials presented a united front against control of the border by
Meanwhile, Israeli and Egyptian security reports said that Hamas
continued smuggling in large quantities of explosives and arms from
Egypt through tunnels. Egyptian security forces uncovered 60 tunnels
After Hamas' June win, it ousted Fatah-linked officials from
positions of power and authority (such as government positions,
security services, universities, newspapers, etc.) and strove to
enforce law by progressively removing guns from the hands of
peripheral militias, clans, and criminal groups, and gaining control
of supply tunnels. According to
Amnesty International , under Hamas
rule, newspapers were closed down and journalists were harassed.
Fatah demonstrations were forbidden or suppressed, as in the case of a
large demonstration on the anniversary of
Yasser Arafat 's death,
which resulted in the deaths of seven people, after protesters hurled
Hamas security forces.
Hamas and other militant groups continued to fire Qassam rockets
across the border into Israel. According to Israel, between the Hamas
takeover and the end of January 2008, 697 rockets and 822 mortar bombs
were fired at Israeli towns. In response,
Israel targeted Qassam
launchers and military targets and declared the
Gaza Strip a hostile
entity. In January 2008,
Israel curtailed travel from Gaza, the entry
of goods, and cut fuel supplies, resulting in power shortages. This
brought charges that
Israel was inflicting collective punishment on
the Gaza population, leading to international condemnation. Despite
multiple reports from within the Strip that food and other essentials
were in short supply,
Israel said that Gaza had enough food and
energy supplies for weeks.
The Israeli government uses economic means to pressure Hamas. Among
other things, it caused Israeli commercial enterprises like banks and
fuel companies to stop doing business with the Gaza Strip. The role of
private corporations in the relationship between
Israel and the Gaza
Strip is an issue that has not been extensively studied.
Due to continued rocket attacks including 50 in one day, in March
2008, air strikes and ground incursions by the IDF led to the deaths
of over 110
Palestinians and extensive damage to
Violence against Christians was recorded. The owner of a Christian
bookshop was abducted and murdered and, on 15 February 2008, the
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) library in
Gaza City was
bombed. Watchtower on the border between
Rafah and Egypt.
Border Barrier Breach
On 23 January 2008, after months of preparation during which the
steel reinforcement of the border barrier was weakened, Hamas
destroyed several parts of the wall dividing Gaza and
Egypt in the
Rafah . Hundreds of thousands of Gazans crossed the border
Egypt seeking food and supplies. Due to the crisis, Egyptian
Hosni Mubarak ordered his troops to allow the Palestinians
in but to verify that they did not bring weapons back across the
Egypt arrested and later released several armed Hamas
militants in the Sinai who presumably wanted to infiltrate into
Israel. At the same time,
Israel increased its state of alert along
the length of the Israel-
Egypt Sinai border, and warned its citizens
to leave Sinai "without delay."
Border Monitors initially monitored the border because Hamas
guaranteed their safety, but they later fled. The Palestinian
Authority demanded that
Egypt deal only with the Authority in
negotiations relating to borders.
Israel eased restrictions on the
delivery of goods and medical supplies but curtailed electricity by 5%
in one of its ten lines. The
Rafah crossing remained closed into
In February 2008,
2008 Israel-Gaza conflict intensified, with rockets
launched at Israeli cities. Aggression by
Hamas led to Israeli
military action on 1 March 2008, resulting in over 110 Palestinians
being killed according to BBC News, as well as 2 Israeli soldiers.
Israeli human rights group B\'Tselem estimated that 45 of those killed
were not involved in hostilities, and 15 were minors.
After a round of tit-for-tat arrests between
Hamas in the
Gaza Strip and West Bank, the
Hilles clan from Gaza were relocated to
Jericho on 4 August 2008. Retiring Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on
11 November 2008, "The question is not whether there will be a
confrontation, but when it will take place, under what circumstances,
and who will control these circumstances, who will dictate them, and
who will know to exploit the time from the beginning of the ceasefire
until the moment of confrontation in the best possible way.” On 14
Israel blockaded its border with Gaza after a
five-month ceasefire broke down. In 2013
Gaza’s lone power plant back to life for the first time in seven
weeks, bringing relief to the Palestinian coastal enclave where a lack
of cheap fuel has contributed to the overflow of raw sewage, 21-hour
blackouts and flooding after a ferocious winter storm. "Palestinian
officials said that a $10 million grant from
Qatar was covering the
cost of two weeks’ worth of industrial diesel that started entering
Gaza by truckload from Israel."
On 25 November 2008,
Israel closed its cargo crossing with Gaza after
Qassam rockets were fired into its territory. On 28 November, after a
24-hour period of quiet, the IDF facilitated the transfer of over
thirty truckloads of food, basic supplies and medicine into Gaza and
transferred fuel to the area's main power plant.
2008 GAZA WAR
Gaza War (2008–09) Buildings damaged during
Operation "Cast Lead" . Monthly rocket and mortar hits in
Israel, 2008. Israelis killed by
Palestinians killed by Israelis in Gaza (red)
On 27 December 2008, Israeli
F-16 fighters launched a series of air
strikes against targets in Gaza following the breakdown of a temporary
Israel and Hamas. Israeli defense sources said that
Ehud Barak instructed the IDF to prepare for the
operation six months before it began, using long-term planning and
Various sites that
Israel claimed were being used as weapons depots
were struck: police stations, schools, hospitals, UN warehouses,
Hamas government buildings and other buildings.
Israel said that the attack was a response to
Hamas rocket attacks on
southern Israel, which totaled over 3,000 in 2008 , and which
intensified during the few weeks preceding the operation. Israel
advised people near military targets to leave before the attacks.
Palestinian medical staff claimed at least 434
killed, and at least 2,800 wounded, consisting of many civilians and
an unknown number of
Hamas members, in the first five days of Israeli
strikes on Gaza. The IDF denied that the majority of the dead were
Israel began a ground invasion of the
Gaza Strip on 3
Israel rebuffed many cease-fire calls but later
declared a cease fire although
Hamas vowed to fight on.
A total of 1,100–1,400
Palestinians (295–926 civilians) and 13
Israelis were killed in the 22-day war.
The conflict damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes, 15 of
Gaza’s 27 hospitals and 43 of its 110 primary health care
facilities, 800 water wells, 186 greenhouses, and nearly all of its
10,000 family farms; leaving 50,000 homeless, 400,000–500,000
without running water, one million without electricity, and
resulting in acute food shortages. The people of Gaza still suffer
from the loss of these facilities and homes, especially since they
have great challenges to rebuild them.
By February 2009, food availability returned to pre-war levels but a
shortage of fresh produce was forecast due to damage sustained by the
A 2014 UNITY GOVERNMENT WITH FATAH
On 5 June 2014
Fatah signed a unity agreement with
2014 ISRAEL–GAZA CONFLICT
2014 Israel–Gaza conflict
Connections To Sinai Insurgency
Sinai Peninsula borders the
Gaza Strip and Israel. Its vast
and desolate terrain has transformed it into a hotbed of illicit and
militant activity. Although most of the area's inhabitants are tribal
Bedouins , there has been a recent increase in al-Qaeda inspired
global jihadi militant groups operating in the region. Out of the
approximately 15 main militant groups operating in the Sinai desert,
the most dominant and active militant groups have close relations with
the Gaza Strip.
According to Egyptian authorities, the Army of Islam , a U.S.
designated "terrorist organization" based in the Gaza Strip, is
responsible for training and supplying many militant organizations and
jihadist members in Sinai. Mohammed Dormosh, the Army of Islam's
leader, is known for his close relationships to the
Army of Islam smuggles members into the
Gaza Strip for training, then
returns them to the
Sinai Peninsula to engage in militant and jihadist
Governance of the Gaza Strip and
Hamas Government of
2012 Damaged UN school and remmants of the Ministry of Interior
in Gaza City, December 2012
Hamas government of 2012 was the second Palestinian Hamas
-dominated government, ruling over the
Gaza Strip , since the split of
Palestinian National Authority in 2007. It was announced in early
September 2012. The reshuffle of the previous government was approved
Hamas MPs from the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)
OTHER POLITICAL AND MILITANT GROUPS IN GAZA
Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine , also known as the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is a Palestinian militant organization
operating in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip. The group has been
labelled as a terrorist group by the United States, the European
Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia and Israel.
Iran is a major financial supporter of the PIJ. Islamic Jihad is the
second largest militant Islamic group in Gaza with 8,000 fighters
present in the Gaza strip. In June 2013, the Islamic Jihad broke ties
Hamas leaders after
Hamas police fatally shot the commander of
Islamic Jihad's military wing.
DEAL WITH FATAH
On September 25, 2014,
Hamas agreed to let the Palestinian Authority
resume control over the
Gaza Strip and its border crossings with Egypt
The international community regards all of the Palestinian
territories including Gaza as occupied.
Human Rights Watch has
declared at the
UN Human Rights Council that it views
Israel as a _de
facto_ occupying power in the Gaza Strip, even though
Israel has no
military or other presence, because the
Oslo Accord authorizes Israel
to control the airspace and the territorial sea .
In his statement on the
2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict , Richard
United Nations Special Rapporteur wrote that international
humanitarian law applied to
Israel "in regard to the obligations of an
Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war." Amnesty
International , the
World Health Organization ,
Oxfam , the
International Committee of the Red Cross ,
The United Nations
The United Nations , the
United Nations General Assembly , the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza
, international human rights organizations, US government websites,
Foreign and Commonwealth Office , and a significant number of
legal commentators (
Geoffrey Aronson ,
Meron Benvenisti , Claude
Bruderlein, Sari Bashi and Kenneth Mann, Shane Darcy and John
Yoram Dinstein ,
John Dugard , Marc S. Kaliser, Mustafa Mari
Iain Scobbie , and Yuval Shany maintain that Israel's extensive
direct external control over Gaza, and indirect control over the lives
of its internal population mean that Gaza remained occupied.
Israel states that it does not exercise effective control or
authority over any land or institutions in the
Gaza Strip and thus the
Gaza Strip is no longer subject to the former military occupation .
Foreign Affairs Minister of
Tzipi Livni stated in January 2008:
Israel got out of Gaza. It dismantled its settlements there. No
Israeli soldiers were left there after the disengagement." In spite
of Israel\'s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 , the
Hamas Government in
Gaza considers Gaza as occupied territory.
CONTROL OVER AIRSPACE
As agreed between
Israel and the
Palestinian Authority in the Oslo
Israel has exclusive control over the airspace. It can
interfere with radio and TV transmissions, and the Palestinian
Authority cannot engage in independent initiatives for operating a
seaport or airport. The Accords also permitted
construct an airport, which was duly built and opened in 1998. Israel
destroyed Gaza's only airport in 2001 and 2002, during the Second
The Israeli army makes use of drones , which can launch precise
missiles. They are equipped with high-resolution cameras and other
sensors. In addition, the missile fired from a drone has its own
cameras that allow the operator to observe the target from the moment
of firing. After a missile has been launched, the drone operator can
remotely divert it elsewhere. Drone operators can view objects on the
ground in detail during both day and night. Israeli drones routinely
patrol over Gaza.
Part of the territory is depopulated because of the imposition of
buffer zones on both the Israeli and Egyptian borders.
Israel imposed a 50-meter buffer zone in Gaza. In 2000,
it was expanded to 150 meters. Following the 2005 Israeli
disengagement from Gaza , an undefined buffer zone was maintained,
including a no-fishing zone along the coast.
Israel expanded the buffer zone to 300 meters. In
2010, the UN estimated that 30 percent of the arable land in Gaza had
been lost to the buffer zone.
On 25 February 2013, pursuant to a November 2012 ceasefire, Israel
declared a buffer zone of 100 meters on land and 6 nautical miles
offshore. In the following month, the zone was changed to 300 meters
and 3 nautical miles. The 1994 Gaza
Jericho Agreement allows 20
nautical miles, and the 2002 Bertini Commitment allows 12 nautical
In August 2015, the IDF confirmed a buffer zone of 300 meters for
residents and 100 meters for farmers, but without explaining how to
distinguish between the two. As of 2015 , on a third of Gaza's
agricultural land, residents risk Israeli attacks. According to PCHR ,
Israeli attacks take place up to approximately 1.5 km (0.9 mi) from
the border, making 17% of Gaza's total territory a risk zone.
Israel says the buffer zone is needed to protect Israeli communities
just over the border from sniper fire and rocket attacks. In the 18
months until November 2010, one Thai farm worker in
Israel was killed
by a rocket fired from Gaza, and in 2010, according to IDF figures,
180 rockets and mortars had been fired into
Israel by militants. In 6
months, however, 11
Palestinians civilians, including four children,
had been killed by Israeli fire and at least 70 Palestinian civilians
were injured in the same period, including at least 49 who were
working collecting rubble and scrap metal.
A buffer zone was also created on the Egyptian side of the
Egypt border . In 2014, scores of homes in
Rafah were destroyed
for the buffer zone. According to Amnesty International, more than
800 homes had been destroyed and more than 1,000 families evicted.
Mahmoud Abbas agreed with the destruction of
smuggling tunnels by flooding them, and then punishing the owners of
the houses that contained entrances to the tunnels, including
demolishing their houses, arguing that the tunnels had produced 1,800
millionaires, and were used for smuggling weapons, drugs, cash, and
equipment for forging documents.
Egypt maintain a blockade of the
Gaza Strip , although
Israel allows in limited quantities of medical humanitarian aid. The
Red Cross claimed that the blockade harms the economy and causes a
shortage of basic medicines and equipment such as painkillers and
Israel claims the blockade is necessary to prevent the smuggling of
weapons into Gaza. For example, in 2014, a Panamanian-flagged ship
claiming to be carrying construction materials was boarded by the IDF
and was found to contain Syrian produced rockets.
that the blockade is legal and necessary to limit Palestinian rocket
attacks from the
Gaza Strip on its cities and to prevent
obtaining other weapons.
Director of the
Shin Bet (
Israel Security Agency)
Yuval Diskin did
not oppose easing trade restrictions, but said that smuggling tunnels
in Sinai and an open seaport in the
Gaza Strip endangered Israel's
security. According to Diskin,
Hamas and Islamic Jihad had smuggled in
over "5,000 rockets with ranges up to 40 km (25 mi)." Some of the
rockets could reach as far as the
Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area .
Israeli spokesman Mark Regev described Israel's actions as
"sanctions," not a blockade, but a Gazan legal consultant for UNRWA
called the blockade "an action outside of international law.”
In July 2010, British Prime Minister
David Cameron said,
"humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza
cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp." In response,
the spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London said, "The people of
Gaza are the prisoners of the terrorist organization Hamas. The
situation in Gaza is the direct result of Hamas' rule and priorities."
Tent camp, April 2009, after Cast Lead .
Arab League accused
Israel of waging a financial war. The IDF
strictly controlled travel within the area of the crossing points
Israel and the Gaza Strip, and sealed its border with Gaza.
U.S. government travel guides warned tourists that the region was
Facing mounting international pressure,
Israel lessened the
restrictions starting in June 2010, when the
Rafah border crossing
Egypt to Gaza was partially opened by Egypt. Egypt’s foreign
ministry said that the crossing would remain open mainly for people,
but not for supplies.
Israel announced that it would allow the
passage of civilian goods but not weapons and items that could be used
for dual purposes. In December 2015,
Israel not to allow
Turkish aid to get through to the Gaza Strip. Benjamin Netanyahu said
that it is impossible to lift the siege on Gaza and that the security
Israel is the primary issue for him. He confirmed "that
the only country that currently sends supplies to the coastal
In January and February 2011, the United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) assessed measures taken
to ease the blockade and concluded that they were helpful but not
sufficient to improve the lives of the local inhabitants. UNOCHA
Israel to reduce restrictions on exports and the import of
construction materials, and to lift the general ban on movement
between Gaza and the
West Bank via Israel. After Egypt's President
Hosni Mubarak resigned on 28 May 2011,
Egypt permanently opened its
border with the
Gaza Strip to students, medical patients, and foreign
passport holders. Following the 2013 Egyptian coup d\'état ,
Egypt's military has destroyed most of the 1,200 tunnels which are
used for smuggling food, weapons, and other goods to Gaza. After the
August 2013 Rabaa Massacre in Egypt, the border crossing was closed
Israel has alternately restricted or allowed goods and people to
cross the terrestrial border and handles vicariously the movement of
goods into and out of Gaza by air and sea.
Israel largely provides for
Gaza's water supply, electricity, and communications infrastructure.
While the import of food is restricted through the Gaza blockade, the
Israeli military destroys agricultural crops by spraying toxic
chemicals over the Gazan lands, using aircraft flying over the border
zone. Also Gaza's agricultural research and development station was
destroyed in 2014 and again in January 2016, while import of new
equipment is obstructed.
Movement Of People
Because of the Israeli–Egyptian blockade, the population is not
free to leave or enter the Gaza Strip. Only in exceptional cases are
people allowed to pass through the
Erez Crossing or the
Crossing . In 2015, a Gazan woman was not allowed to travel
Jordan on her way to her own wedding. The Israeli
authorities found she did not meet the criteria for travel, namely
only in exceptional humanitarian cases.
Under the long-term blockade, the
Gaza Strip is often described as a
"prison-camp or open air prison for its collective denizens". The
comparison is done by observers, ranging from
Roger Cohen and Lawrence
Weschler to NGOs, such as B\'tselem , and politicians and diplomats,
David Cameron ,
Noam Chomsky ,
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan , David
Shoebridge and Sir John Holmes In 2014 French President
François Hollande called for the demilitarization of Gaza and a
lifting of the blockade, saying "Gaza must neither be an open prison
nor a military base."
An anonymous Israeli analyst has called it "Israel's
Lauren Booth ,
Philip Slater ,
Giorgio Agamben compare it
to a "concentration camp". For
Robert S. Wistrich , and Philip
Mendes, such analogies are designed to offend Jews, while Philip Seib
dismisses the comparison as absurd, and claims that it arises from
sources like Al Jazeera and statements by Arab leaders.
See also: Economy of
Gaza City , Economy of the Palestinian
territories , and
Blockade of the Gaza Strip Sea-view from the
Al Deira Hotel on the Gaza coast
The economy of the
Gaza Strip is severely hampered by
Israel's almost total blockade, the high population density, limited
land access, strict internal and external security controls, the
effects of Israeli military operations, and restrictions on labor and
trade access across the border.
Per capita income (PPP) was estimated
at US$3,100 in 2009, a position of 164th in the world. Seventy
percent of the population is below the poverty line according to a
Gaza Strip industries are generally small family
businesses that produce textiles , soap , olive-wood carvings, and
The main agricultural products are olives , citrus , vegetables ,
Halal beef , and dairy products . Primary exports are citrus and cut
flowers, while primary imports are food, consumer goods, and
construction materials. The main trade partners of the
Gaza Strip are
Israel and Egypt.
The EU described the Gaza economy as follows: "Since
control of Gaza in 2007 and following the closure imposed by Israel,
the situation in the Strip has been one of chronic need,
de-development and donor dependency, despite a temporary relaxation on
restrictions in movement of people and goods after the Gaza flotilla
raid in 2010. The closure has effectively cut off access for exports
to traditional markets in Israel, transfers to the
West Bank and has
severely restricted imports. Exports are now down to 2% of 2007
According to Sara Roy, one senior IDF officer told an UNWRA official
in 2015 that Israel's policy towards the
Gaza Strip consisted of: "No
development, no prosperity, no humanitarian crisis."
AFTER OSLO (1994–2007)
Economic output in the
Gaza Strip declined by about one-third between
1992 and 1996. This downturn was attributed to Israeli closure
policies and, to a lesser extent, corruption and mismanagement by
Yasser Arafat . Economic development has been hindered by Israel
refusing to allow the operation of a sea harbour. A Gaza Seaport was
planned to be built in Gaza with help from
France and The Netherlands,
but the project was bombed by
Israel in 2001.
Israel said that the
reason for bombing was that Israeli settlements were being shot at
from the construction site at the harbour. As a result, international
transports (both trade and aid) had to go through Israel, which was
hindered by the imposition of generalized border closures. These also
disrupted previously established labor and commodity market
Israel and the Strip. A serious negative social
effect of this downturn was the emergence of high unemployment.
For its energy, Gaza is largely dependent on
Israel either for import
of electricity or fuel for its sole power plant. The
Oslo Accords set
limits for the Palestinian production and importation of energy.
Pursuant to the Accords, the
Israel Electric Corporation exclusively
supplies the electricity (63% of the total consumption in 2013). The
amount of electricity has consistently been limited to 120 megawatts,
which is the amount
Israel undertook to sell to Gaza pursuant to the
Oslo Accords. Backyard industry
Israel's use of comprehensive closures decreased over the next few
years. In 1998,
Israel implemented new policies to ease security
procedures and allow somewhat freer movement of Gazan goods and labor
into Israel. These changes led to three years of economic recovery in
the Gaza Strip, disrupted by the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada in
the last quarter of 2000. Before the second Palestinian uprising in
September 2000, around 25,000 workers from the
Gaza Strip (about 2% of
the population) worked in
Israel on a daily basis.
Second Intifada led to a steep decline in the economy of Gaza,
which was heavily reliant upon external markets. Israel—which had
begun its occupation by helping Gazans to plant approximately 618,000
trees in 1968, and to improve seed selection—over the first 3-year
period of the second intifada, destroyed 10 percent of Gazan
agricultural land, and uprooted 226,000 trees. The population became
largely dependent on humanitarian assistance, primarily from UN
The al-Aqsa Intifada triggered tight IDF closures of the border with
Israel, as well as frequent curbs on traffic in Palestinian self-rule
areas, severely disrupting trade and labor movements. In 2001, and
even more so in early 2002, internal turmoil and Israeli military
measures led to widespread business closures and a sharp drop in GDP .
Civilian infrastructure, such as the Palestine airport, was destroyed
by Israel. Another major factor was a drop in income due to reduction
in the number of Gazans permitted entry to work in Israel. After the
Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the flow of a limited number of workers
Israel resumed, although
Israel said it would reduce or end such
permits due to the victory of
Hamas in the 2006 parliamentary
The Israeli settlers of
Gush Katif built greenhouses and experimented
with new forms of agriculture. These greenhouses provided employment
for hundreds of Gazans. When
Israel withdrew from the
Gaza Strip in
the summer of 2005, more than 3,000 (about half) of the greenhouses
were purchased with $14 million raised by former
World Bank president
James Wolfensohn , and given to
Palestinians to jump-start their
economy. The rest were demolished by the departing settlers before
there were offered a compensation as an inducement to leave them
behind. The farming effort faltered due to limited water supply,
Palestinian looting, restrictions on exports, and corruption in the
Palestinian Authority. Many Palestinian companies repaired the
greenhouses damaged and looted by the
Palestinians after the Israeli
In 2005, after the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Gaza
businessmen envisaged a "magnificent future". $1.1 million was
invested in an upscale restaurant, Roots, and plans were made to turn
one of the Israeli settlements into a family resort.
FOLLOWING HAMAS TAKEOVER (2007–PRESENT)
European Union states: "Gaza has experienced continuous economic
decline since the imposition of a closure policy by
Israel in 2007.
This has had serious social and humanitarian consequences for many of
its 1.7 million inhabitants. The situation has deteriorated further in
recent months as a result of the geo-political changes which took
place in the region during the course of 2013, particularly in Egypt
and its closure of the majority of smuggling tunnels between
Gaza as well as increased restrictions at Rafah." Israel, the United
States, Canada, and the
European Union have frozen all funds to the
Palestinian government after the formation of a Hamas-controlled
government after its democratic victory in the 2006 Palestinian
legislative election . They view the group as a terrorist
organization, and have pressured
Hamas to recognize Israel, renounce
violence, and make good on past agreements. Prior to disengagement,
Palestinians from Gaza had been employed in
Israel or in joint
projects. After the Israeli withdrawal, the gross domestic product of
Gaza Strip declined. Jewish enterprises shut down, work
relationships were severed, and job opportunities in
Israel dried up.
After the 2006 elections, fighting broke out between
Fatah and Hamas,
Hamas won in the
Gaza Strip on 14 June 2007.
Israel imposed a
blockade, and the only goods permitted into the Strip through the land
crossings were goods of a humanitarian nature, and these were
permitted in limited quantities.
An easing of Israel's closure policy in 2010 resulted in an
improvement in some economic indicators, although exports were still
restricted. According to the
Israeli Defense Forces and the
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the economy of the Gaza
Strip improved in 2011, with a drop in unemployment and an increase in
GDP. New malls opened and local industry began to develop. This
economic upswing has led to the construction of hotels and a rise in
the import of cars. Wide-scale development has been made possible by
the unhindered movement of goods into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom
Crossing and tunnels between the
Gaza Strip and Egypt. The current
rate of trucks entering Gaza through Kerem Shalom is 250 trucks per
day. The increase in building activity has led to a shortage of
construction workers. To make up for the deficit, young people are
being sent to learn the trade in Turkey.
Mahmoud Zahar said that Gaza's economic
situation has improved and Gaza has become self-reliant "in several
aspects except petroleum and electricity" despite Israel's blockade.
Zahar said that Gaza's economic conditions are better than those in
West Bank . In 2014, the EU 's opinion was: "Today, Gaza is
facing a dangerous and pressing humanitarian and economic situation
with power outages across Gaza for up to 16 hours a day and, as a
consequence, the closure of sewage pumping operations, reduced access
to clean water; a reduction in medical supplies and equipment; the
cessation of imports of construction materials; rising unemployment,
rising prices and increased food insecurity. If left unaddressed, the
situation could have serious consequences for stability in Gaza, for
security more widely in the region as well as for the peace process
2012 Fuel Crisis
Usually, diesel for Gaza came from Israel, but in 2011, Hamas
started to buy cheaper fuel from Egypt, bringing it via a network of
underground tunnels, and refused to allow it from Israel.
In early 2012, due to internal economic disagreement between the
Palestinian Authority and the
Hamas Government in Gaza, decreased
Egypt and through tunnel smuggling, and Hamas's refusal
to ship fuel via Israel, the
Gaza Strip plunged into a fuel crisis,
bringing increasingly long electricity shut downs and disruption of
Egypt had attempted for a while to stop the use of
underground tunnels for delivery of Egyptian fuel purchased by
Palestinian authorities, and had severely reduced supply through the
tunnel network. As the crisis broke out,
Hamas sought to equip the
Rafah terminal between
Egypt and Gaza for fuel transfer, and refused
to accept fuel to be delivered via the Kerem Shalom crossing between
Israel and Gaza.
In mid-February 2012, as the crisis escalated,
Hamas rejected an
Egyptian proposal to bring in fuel via the Kerem Shalom Crossing
Israel and Gaza to reactivate Gaza's only power plant. Ahmed
Abu Al-Amreen of the Hamas-run Energy Authority refused it on the
grounds that the crossing is operated by
Israel and Hamas' fierce
opposition to the existence of Israel.
Egypt cannot ship diesel fuel
to Gaza directly through the
Rafah crossing point, because it is
limited to the movement of individuals.
In early March 2012, the head of Gaza's energy authority stated that
Egypt wanted to transfer energy via the
Kerem Shalom Crossing , but he
personally refused it to go through the "Zionist entity" (Israel) and
Egypt transfer the fuel through the
although this crossing is not equipped to handle the half-million
liters needed each day.
In late March 2012,
Hamas began offering carpools for people to use
Hamas state vehicles to get to work. Many Gazans began to wonder how
these vehicles have fuel themselves, as diesel was completely
unavailable in Gaza, ambulances could no longer be used, but Hamas
government officials still had fuel for their own cars. Many Gazans
Hamas confiscated the fuel it needed from petrol stations
and used it exclusively for their own purposes.
Egypt agreed to provide 600,000 liters of fuel to Gaza daily, but it
had no way of delivering it that
Hamas would agree to.
Israel introduced a number of goods and vehicles into
Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom Crossing, as well as the normal
diesel for hospitals.
Israel also shipped 150,000 liters of diesel
through the crossing, which was paid for by the
Red Cross .
In April 2012, the issue was resolved as certain amounts of fuel were
supplied with the involvement of the
Red Cross , after the Palestinian
Hamas reached a deal. Fuel was finally transferred via
the Israeli Kerem Shalom Crossing, which
Hamas previously refused to
transfer fuel from.
Most of the
Gaza Strip administration funding comes from outside as
an aid, with large portion delivered by UN organizations directly to
education and food supply. Most of the Gaza GDP comes as foreign
humanitarian and direct economic support. Of those funds, the major
part is supported by the U.S. and the European Union. Portions of the
direct economic support have been provided by the Arab League, though
it largely has not provided funds according to schedule. Among other
alleged sources of Gaza administration budget is Iran.
A diplomatic source told Reuters that
Iran had funded
Hamas in the
past with up to $300 million per year, but the flow of money had not
been regular in 2011. "Payment has been in suspension since August,"
said the source.
In January 2012, some diplomatic sources said that
Turkey promised to
Gaza Strip administration with $300 million to
support its annual budget.
In April 2012, the
Hamas government in Gaza approved its budget for
2012, which was up 25 percent year-on-year over 2011 budget,
indicating that donors, including Iran, benefactors in the Islamic
world, and Palestinian expatriates, are still heavily funding the
movement. Chief of Gaza's parliament's budget committee Jamal Nassar
said the 2012 budget is $769 million, compared to $630 million in
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Gaza Strip is located in the
Middle East (at 31°25′N
34°20′E / 31.417°N 34.333°E / 31.417; 34.333 Coordinates
: 31°25′N 34°20′E / 31.417°N 34.333°E / 31.417;
34.333 ). It has a 51 kilometers (32 mi) border with
Israel , and an
11 km (7 mi) border with
Egypt , near the city of
Rafah . Khan Yunis
is located 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) northeast of Rafah, and several towns
Deir el-Balah are located along the coast between it and Gaza
Beit Lahia and
Beit Hanoun are located to the north and
northeast of Gaza City, respectively. The
Gush Katif bloc of Israeli
settlements used to exist on the sand dunes adjacent to
Rafah and Khan
Yunis, along the southwestern edge of the 40 kilometers (25 mi)
Mediterranean coastline. Al Deira beach is a popular venue for
Gaza Strip has an arid climate, with mild winters, and dry, hot
summers subject to drought . The terrain is flat or rolling, with
dunes near the coast. The highest point is Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda),
at 105 meters (344 ft) above sea level . Environmental problems
include desertification ; salination of fresh water; sewage treatment
; water-borne diseases ; soil degradation ; and depletion and
contamination of underground water resources.
Natural resources of Gaza include arable land —about a third of the
strip is irrigated. Recently, natural gas was discovered.
Environmental problems include desertification ; salination of fresh
water; water-borne disease ; soil degradation ; lack of adequate
sewage treatment ; and depletion and contamination of underground
water resources. The
Gaza Strip is largely dependent on water from
Wadi Gaza , which also supplies Israel. Main article:
Natural gas in
Gaza's marine gas reserves extend 32 kilometres from the Gaza Strip's
coastline and were calculated at 35 BCM.
Main article: Demographics of the
Schoolgirls in Gaza lining up for class, 2009
In 2010 approximately 1.6 million
Palestinians lived in the Gaza
Strip, almost 1.0 million of them UN-registered refugees. The
majority of the
Palestinians descend from refugees who were driven
from or left their homes during the
1948 Arab-Israeli War . The
Strip's population has continued to increase since that time, one of
the main reasons being a total fertility rate of 4.24 children per
woman (2014 est). In a ranking by total fertility rate , this places
Gaza 34th of 224 regions. According to the UN, unless remedial steps
are taken to repair the basic infrastructure by 2020, with a further
demographic increase of 500,000 and intensified housing problems, the
Gaza Strip will become effectively uninhabitable.
Sunni Muslims make
up the predominant part of the Palestinian population in the Gaza
Most of the inhabitants are
Sunni Muslims , with an estimated 2,000
Arab Christians , making the region 99.8 percent Sunni
Muslim and 0.2 percent Christian.
RELIGION AND CULTURE
GAZA STRIP RELIGIONS (2012 EST.)
RELIGIOUS COMPLIANCE OF POPULATION TO ISLAM
Islamization of the Gaza Strip
Islamic Law In Gaza
From 1987 to 1991, during the
First Intifada ,
Hamas campaigned for
the wearing of the hijab head-cover and for other measures (such as
the promotion of polygamy , segregating women from men and insisting
they stay at home). In the course of this campaign, women who chose
not to wear the hijab were verbally and physically harassed by Hamas
activists, leading to hijabs being worn "just to avoid problems on the
In October 2000, Islamic extremists burned down the Windmill Hotel,
owned by Basil Eleiwa, when they learned it had served alcohol.
Hamas took over in 2007, attempts have been made by Islamist
activists to impose "
Islamic dress " and to require women to wear the
hijab. The government's "Islamic Endowment Ministry" has deployed
Virtue Committee members to warn citizens of the dangers of immodest
dress, card playing and dating. However, there are no government laws
imposing dress and other moral standards, and the
ministry reversed one effort to impose
Islamic dress on students.
There has also been successful resistance to attempts by local Hamas
officials to impose
Islamic dress on women.
Human Rights Watch , the Hamas-controlled government
stepped up its efforts to "Islamize" Gaza in 2010, efforts it says
included the "repression of civil society" and "severe violations of
Palestinian researcher Khaled Al-Hroub has criticized what he called
Taliban -like steps"
Hamas has taken: "The Islamization that has
been forced upon the Gaza Strip—the suppression of social, cultural,
and press freedoms that do not suit Hamas's view—is an egregious
deed that must be opposed. It is the reenactment, under a religious
guise, of the experience of totalitarian regimes and dictatorships."
Hamas officials denied having any plans to impose Islamic law. One
legislator stated that "hat you are seeing are incidents, not policy"
and that "we believe in persuasion".
In October 2012 Gaza youth complained that security officers had
obstructed their freedom to wear saggy pants and to have haircuts of
their own choosing, and that they faced being arrested. Youth in Gaza
are also arrested by security officers for wearing shorts and for
showing their legs, which have been described by youth as embarrassing
incidents, and one youth explained that "My saggy pants did not harm
anyone." However, a spokesman for Gaza's Ministry of Interior denied
such a campaign, and denied interfering in the lives of Gaza citizens,
but explained that "maintaining the morals and values of the
Palestinian society is highly required".
Iran was the largest state supporter of Hamas, and the Muslim
Brotherhood also gave support, but these political relationships have
recently been disrupted following the
Arab Spring by Iranian support
for and the position of
Hamas has declined as support diminishes.
In addition to Hamas, a
Salafist movement began to appear about 2005
in Gaza, characterized by "a strict lifestyle based on that of the
earliest followers of Islam". As of 2015 , there are estimated to be
only "hundreds or perhaps a few thousand" Salafists in Gaza. However,
the failure of
Hamas to lift the Israeli blockade of Gaza despite
thousands of casualties and much destruction during 2008-9 and 2014
wars has weakened Hamas's support and led some in
Hamas to be
concerned about the possibility of defections to the
The movement has clashed with
Hamas on a number of occasions. In
Salafist leader, Abdul Latif Moussa, declared an Islamic
emirate in the town of Rafah, on Gaza's southern border. Moussa and
19 other people were killed when
Hamas forces stormed his mosque and
house. In 2011, Salafists abducted and murdered a pro-Palestinian
Italian activist, Vittorio Arrigoni. Following this
Hamas again took
action to crush the
Gaza Museum of Archaeology was established by Jawdat N. Khoudary
University College of Applied Sciences , the largest college in
In 2010, illiteracy among Gazan youth was less than 1%. In 2012,
there were five universities in the
Gaza Strip and eight new schools
are under construction. According to
UNRWA figures, there are 640
schools in Gaza: 383 government schools, 221
UNRWA schools and 36
private schools, serving a total of 441,452 students.
In 2010, Al Zahara, a private school in central Gaza introduced a
special program for mental development based on math computations. The
program was created in
Malaysia in 1993, according to the school
principal, Majed al-Bari.
The Community College of Applied Science and Technology (CCAST) was
established in 1998 in Gaza City. In 2003, the college moved into its
new campus and established the Gaza Polytechnic Institute (GPI) in
2006 in southern Gaza. In 2007, the college received accreditation to
award BA degrees as the
University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS).
In 2010, the college had a student population of 6,000 in eight
departments offering over 40 majors.
In June 2011, some Gazans, upset that
UNRWA did not rebuild their
homes that were lost in the Second Intifada, blocked
performing its services and shut down UNRWA's summer camps. Gaza
residents also closed UNRWA's emergency department, social services
office and ration stores.
Islamic University of Gaza
In Gaza, there are hospitals and additional healthcare facilities.
Because of the high number of young people the mortality rate is one
of the lowest in the world, at 0.315% per year. The infant mortality
rate is ranked 105th highest out of 224 countries and territories, at
16.55 deaths per 1,000 births. The
Gaza Strip places 24th out of 135
countries according to
Human Poverty Index .
A study carried out by
Johns Hopkins University (U.S.) and Al-Quds
Abu Dis ) for CARE International in late 2002 revealed
very high levels of dietary deficiency among the Palestinian
population. The study found that 17.5% of children aged 6–59 months
suffered from chronic malnutrition . 53% of women of reproductive age
and 44% of children were found to be anemic . Insecurity in obtaining
sufficient food as of 2016 affects roughly 70% of Gaza households, as
the number of people requiring assistance from UN agencies has risen
from 72,000 in 2000, to 800,000 in 2014
Hamas takeover of the
Gaza Strip health conditions in Gaza
Strip faced new challenges.
World Health Organization (WHO) expressed
its concerns about the consequences of the Palestinian internal
political fragmentation; the socioeconomic decline; military actions;
and the physical, psychological and economic isolation on the health
of the population in Gaza. In a 2012 study of the occupied
territories, the WHO reported that roughly 50% of the young children
and infants under two years old and 39.1% of pregnant women receiving
antenatal services care in Gaza suffer from iron-deficiency anemia.
The organization also observed chronic malnutrition in children under
five "is not improving and may be deteriorating."
Dr. Mohammed Abu Shaban, director of the Blood Tumors Department in
Al-Rantisy Hospital in Gaza witnessed an increase in blood cancer. In
March 2010 the department had seen 55 cases that year, compared to 20
to 25 cases normally seen in an entire year. According to the United
Nations Development Programme , the average life expectancy in the
Gaza Strip is 72.
See also: Khalida Jarrar § Israeli denial of medical treatment
According to Palestinian leaders in the Gaza Strip, the majority of
medical aid delivered are "past their expiration date." Mounir
el-Barash, the director of donations in Gaza's health department,
claims 30% of aid sent to Gaza is used.
Gazans who desire medical care in Israeli hospitals must apply for a
medical visa permit. In 2007, State of
Israel granted 7,176 permits
and denied 1,627.
In 2012, two hospitals funded by
Saudi Arabia were under
CULTURE AND SPORTS
Gaza amusement park.
Gaza Strip has been home to a significant branch of the
contemporary Palestinian art movement since the mid 20th century.
Notable artists include painters Ismail Ashour, Shafiq Redwan, Bashir
Senwar, Majed Shalla, Fayez Sersawi, Abdul Rahman al Muzayan and
Ismail Shammout, and media artists Taysir Batniji (who lives in
France) and Laila al Shawa (who lives in London). An emerging
generation of artists is also active in nonprofit art organizations
such as Windows From Gaza and Eltiqa Group, which regularly host
exhibitions and events open to the public.
In 2010, Gaza inaugurated its first
Olympic-size swimming pool at the
As-Sadaka club. The opening ceremony was held by the Islamic Society.
The swimming team of as-Sadaka holds several gold and silver medals
from Palestinian swimming competitions.
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS
Damaged part of Gaza airport, May 2002
Oslo Accords ceded control of the airspace and territorial waters
to Israel. Any external travel from Gaza requires cooperation from
Egypt or Israel.
Salah al-Din Road (also known as the Salah ad-Deen Highway) is the
main highway of the
Gaza Strip and extends over 45 km (28 mi),
spanning the entire length of the territory from the
Rafah Crossing in
the south to the
Erez Crossing in the north. The road is named after
the 12th-century Ayyubid general Salah al-Din .
Former railway: see
Palestine Railways#Railway in the Gaza Strip
Port of Gaza has been an important and active port since
antiquity. Despite plans under the Oslo Peace Accords to expand the
port, it has been under a blockade since
Hamas was elected as a
majority party in the 2006 elections. Both the Israeli Navy and Egypt
enforce the blockade, which continues currently and has limited many
aspects of life in Gaza, especially, according to Human Rights Watch,
the movement of people and commerce, with exports being most affected.
The improvement and rebuilding of infrastructure is also negatively
impacted by these sanctions. Plans to expand the port were halted
after the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada .
Yasser Arafat International Airport opened on 24 November 1998
after the signing of the
Oslo II Accord and the
Wye River Memorandum .
It was closed by
Israel in October 2000. Its radar station and control
tower were destroyed by
Israel Defense Forces aircraft in 2001 during
the al-Aqsa Intifada, and bulldozers razed the runway in January 2002.
The only remaining runway in the strip, at the
Gush Katif Airport ,
fell into disuse following Israeli disengagement. The airspace over
Gaza may be restricted by the
Israeli Air Force as the Oslo Accords
Gaza Strip has rudimentary land line telephone service provided
by an open-wire system, as well as extensive mobile telephone services
provided by PalTel (Jawwal) and Israeli providers such as Cellcom .
Gaza is serviced by four internet service providers that now compete
ADSL and dial-up customers.
Television And Radio
Most Gaza households have a radio and a TV (70%+), and approximately
20% have a personal computer . People living in Gaza have access to
FTA satellite programs, broadcast TV from the Palestinian Broadcasting
Corporation , the
Israel Broadcasting Authority , and the Second
Israeli Broadcasting Authority .
Enclave and exclave
Gaza Security Force
Governance of the Gaza Strip
* Human rights in the
* International recognition of the
State of Palestine
* Military equipment of
Palestinian Declaration of Independence
Palestinian National Security Forces
Southern District (Israel)
Southern District (Israel)
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ _Mideast accord: the overview; Rabin and Arafat sign accord
ending Israel\'s 27-year hold on
Jericho and the Gaza Strip_. Chris
Hedges, New York Times, 5 May 1994.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _The Gaza Strip: The Humanitarian Impact of the
Blockade_. UN OCHA, July 2015. "1.8 million
Palestinians in Gaza are
‘locked in’, denied free access to the remainder of the occupied
Palestinian territory and the outside world." Available at _Fact
* ^ _A_ _B_ _Table 3: Projected Population in the State of
Palestine by Governorate, End Year 2015_. PCBS, _
Palestinians at the
End of 2015_, p. 36. Source:
* ^ The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) ISBN 0-19-861263-X
– p.761 "GAZA STRIP /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the
control of the
Palestinian National Authority and
Hamas , on the SE
Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza...".
* ^ "WORKING IN THE GAZA STRIP".
UNRWA . Retrieved 8 February 2016.
Gaza Strip is a coastal strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea,
Egypt at the south-west and
Israel to the north and east.
* ^ James Kraska, 'Rule Selection in the Case of Israel's Blockade
of Gaza:Law of Naval Warfare or Law of Sea?,' in _M.N. Schmitt, Louise
Arimatsu, Tim McCormack (eds.,) Yearbook of International Humanitarian
Law,_ Springer Science & Business Media, 2011 pp.367–395,
p.387:'There are no Israeli troops in Gaza, which everybody regards as
a self-governing enclave cut from the Middle East.'
* ^ "Life in the Gaza Strip". _
BBC News _. 14 July 2014. Retrieved
8 February 2016.
* ^ "Gaza: The Basics". _Slate _. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 8
* ^ "What\'s The Difference Between The
West Bank and The Gaza
International Business Times _. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 8
* ^ "Environmental Assessment of the Gaza Strip" (PDF). United
Nations Environment Programme . 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
* ^ "Everything You Need to Know About the Israel-Gaza Conflict".
ABC News _. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
* ^ Joshua Castellino, Kathleen A. Cavanaugh, _Minority Rights in
the Middle East,_ Oxford University Press 2013 p.150:'Palestinians
under occupation in the
West Bank and Gaza constitute a majority
(demographically) with representation by the Palestinian National
Authority (PNA), a self-governing body run by
Fatah in the West Bank,
Hamas in the Gaza Strip'.
* ^ Tristan Dunning, _Hamas, Jihad and Popular Legitimacy:
Reinterpreting Resistance in Palestine,_ Routledge, 2016 p.212:'Since
taking sole control of Gaza in June 2007,
Hamas has proven itself to
be a remarkably resilient and resourceful government entity. The
movement has clearly entrenched itself as the hegemonic power in the
coastal enclave to such an extent that the International Crisis Group
contends that the power struggle in Gaza is no longer between Hamas
and Fatah. Rather the main source of confrontation is between Hamas
and other more hardline Islamists and _salafists_. . .
Hamas has been
far more successful in an administrative sense than the Palestinian
Authority in the West Bank, despite having access to only a fraction
of the resources.'
Sara Roy , _
Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza: Engaging the
Islamist Social Sector,_ Princeton University Press, 2013
p.41:'Hamas's democratic victory, however, was short-lived . .followed
as it was in June 2006 by an Israeli and U.S.-led international
political and economic boycott of the new Palestinian government. The
boycott amounted to a form of collective punishment against the entire
Palestinian population and, to my knowledge, was the first time in the
history of the conflict that the international community imposed
sanctions on the occupied rather than the occupier.'
* ^ Arnon, Arie (Autumn 2007). "Israeli Policy towards the Occupied
Palestinian Territories: The Economic Dimension, 1967–2007" (PDF).
Middle East Journal_. 61 (4): 575. Archived from the original (PDF)
* ^ _A_ _B_
Gaza Strip Entry at the CIA World Factbook
* ^ Thomas E. Copeland, _Drawing a Line in the Sea: The Gaza
Flotilla Incident and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,_ Lexington
Books, 2011 p.25
* ^ Doug Suisman, Steven Simon, Glenn Robinson, C. Ross Anthony,
Michael Schoenbaum (eds.) _The Arc: A Formal Structure for a
Palestinian State,_ Rand Corporation, 2007 p.79
* ^ Hilmi S.Salem, 'Social, Environmental and Security Impacts of
Climate Change on the Eastern Mediterranean,' in Hans Günter Brauch,
Úrsula Oswald Spring, Czeslaw Mesjasz, John Grin, Patricia
Kameri-Mbote, Béchir Chourou, Pál Dunay, Joern Birkmann (eds.),
_Coping with Global Environmental Change, Disasters and Security:
Threats, Challenges, Vulnerabilities and Risks,_ Springer Science &
Business Media, 2011 pp.421–445 p.431.
* ^ The Palestinians: In Search of a Just Peace – Page 52, Cheryl
Rubenberg – 2003
* ^ _A_ _B_ _Report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people:
Developments in the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory_,
para 20. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 6 July
2015 (doc.nr. TD/B/62/3). Source.
para 40: "The study stressed that Gaza's population would increase
from 1.6 million in 2011 to 2.1 million in 2020, and concluded that
for Gaza to be a liveable place in 2020 "herculean efforts" needed to
be accelerated in such sectors as health, education, energy, water and
sanitation (United Nations, 2012). However, instead of such efforts,
the tragedy in Gaza has deteriorated and its de-development was
accelerated by destruction in 2014." para 43: "The social, health and
security-related ramifications of the high population density and
overcrowding are among the factors that may render Gaza unliveable by
2020, if present trends continue"
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Sanger, Andrew (2011). M.N. Schmitt, Louise
Arimatsu, Tim McCormack, eds. "The Contemporary Law of Blockade and
the Gaza Freedom Flotilla". _Yearbook of International Humanitarian
Law 2010_. Springer Science & Business Media. 13: 429. ISBN
9789067048118 . doi :10.1007/978-90-6704-811-8_14 .
Israel claims it
no longer occupies the Gaza Strip, maintaining that it is neither a
Stale nor a territory occupied or controlled by Israel, but rather it
has 'sui generis' status. Pursuant to the Disengagement Plan, Israel
dismantled all military institutions and settlements in Gaza and there
is no longer a permanent Israeli military or civilian presence in the
territory. However the Plan also provided that
Israel will guard and
monitor the external land perimeter of the Gaza Strip, will continue
to maintain exclusive authority in Gaza air space, and will continue
to exercise security activity in the sea off the coast of the Gaza
Strip as well as maintaining an Israeli military presence on the
Egyptian-Gaza border. and reserving the right to reenter Gaza at will.
Israel continues to control six of Gaza's seven land crossings, its
maritime borders and airspace and the movement of goods and persons in
and out of the territory.
Egypt controls one of Gaza's land crossings.
Troops from the Israeli Defence Force regularly enter pans of the
territory and/or deploy missile attacks, drones and sonic bombs into
Israel has declared a no-go buffer zone that stretches deep into
Gaza: if Gazans enter this zone they are shot on sight. Gaza is also
Israel for water, electricity, telecommunications and
other utilities, currency, issuing IDs, and permits to enter and leave
Israel also has sole control of the Palestinian
Population Registry through which the Israeli Army regulates who is
classified as a Palestinian and who is a Gazan or West Banker. Since
2000 aside from a limited number of exceptions
Israel has refused to
add people to the Palestinian Population Registry.
It is this direct external control over Gaza and indirect control
over life within Gaza that has led the United Nations, the UN General
Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, International human
rights organisations, US Government websites, the UK Foreign and
Commonwealth Office and a significant number of legal commentators, to
reject the argument that Gaza is no longer occupied. CS1 maint: Uses
editors parameter (link )
* Scobbie, Iain (2012). Elizabeth Wilmshurst, ed. _International Law
and the Classification of Conflicts_. Oxford University Press. p. 295.
ISBN 9780199657759 . Even after the accession to power of Hamas,
Israel's claim that it no longer occupies Gaza has not been accepted
by UN bodies, most States, nor the majority of academic commentators
because of its exclusive control of its border with Gaza and crossing
points including the effective control it exerted over the Rafah
crossing until at least May 2011, its control of Gaza's maritime zones
and airspace which constitute what Aronson terms the 'security
envelope' around Gaza, as well as its ability to intervene forcibly at
will in Gaza.
* Gawerc, Michelle (2012). _Prefiguring Peace: Israeli-Palestinian
Peacebuilding Partnerships_. Lexington Books. p. 44. ISBN
9780739166109 . While
Israel withdrew from the immediate territory, it
remained in control of all access to and from Gaza through the border
crossings, as well as through the coastline and the airspace. In
addition, Gaza was dependent upon
Israel for water, electricity sewage
communication networks and for its trade (Gisha 2007. Dowty 2008). ln
other words, while
Israel maintained that its occupation of Gaza ended
with its unilateral disengagement
Palestinians – as well as many
human right organizations and international bodies – argued that
Gaza was by all intents and purposes still occupied. * ^ _A_ _B_
Dennis J. Deeb II, _Israel, Palestine, ">
* ^ Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem. "Palestinian unity government of
Hamas sworn in World news". theguardian.com. Retrieved
* ^ Seib 2012 , p. 148.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Samira Shackle (14 October 2013). "
Israel tightens its
blockade of Gaza for \'security reasons\'". _
Middle East Monitor _.
:'Yet critics point out that it is not just military supplies that
cannot enter Gaza, but basic construction materials, medical supplies,
and food stuffs. The issue came to international attention in 2010,
when a flotilla of activists attempted to break the blockade and carry
humanitarian aid into Gaza. Nine were killed when the Israeli navy
entered the flotilla. The incident shone a spotlight onto the blockade
of Gaza. At one stage, prohibited materials included coriander,
ginger, nutmeg and newspapers. A relaxation of the rules in June 2009
meant that processed hummus was allowed in, but not hummus with extras
such as pine nuts or mushrooms. One of the biggest issues has been
building materials. The strict restrictions on goods going into Gaza
meant that it was impossible to start reconstruction work after
intensive air strikes on the city in December 2008. A leaked UN report
in 2009 warned that the blockade was "devastating livelihoods" and
causing gradual "de-development". It pointed out that glass was
prohibited; it was therefore impossible to repair shattered windows to
keep out the winter rain.'
* ^ Dion Nissenbaum. "Olmert aide supports free Gaza". McClatchy
Newspapers . 8 December 2008:'Since
Hamas took control of Gaza last
Israel has dramatically reduced the amount of food, fuel and
supplies going through its border crossings with Gaza that are the
main Palestinian lifeline to the outside world. Since the Israeli
military operation on Nov. 4th, according to humanitarian groups,
about 700 truck loads of goods have gone into Gaza. That's what should
be going in-and-out on a single day.'
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Gaza\'s Tunnel Economy". _Borgen Magazine_. 4 August
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Inquiry urged into
Israel convoy raid". _BBC_. 1 June
* ^ "Gaza Strip, overview". Freedom House.
Jonathan Cook , \'How
Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max
The National (Abu Dhabi) October 27, 2014: 'One Israeli
analyst has compared the proposed solution to transforming a
third-world prison into a modern US super-max incarceration facility.'
Noam Chomsky : My Visit to Gaza, the World's Largest Open-Air
Prison. Truthout, 9 November 2012: 'And it hardly takes more than a
day in Gaza to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in
the world's largest open-air prison,'
David Cameron , _Havens Are Few, if Not Far, for
Gaza Strip_. NYT, 20 July 2014: "Prime Minister
David Cameron of
Britain in 2010 called Gaza “an open-air prison,” drawing
criticism from Israel."
* Alistair Dawber, \'Tales from Gaza: What is life really like in
\'the world\'s largest outdoor prison\'?\'
The Independent 13 April
2013.'Locals call it "the world's biggest prison", and it's not
difficult to understand why...Mr Jnead's children, and their prospects
in what is often referred to as the world's largest open prison, is
top of his concerns.'
* Zaki Chehab, _Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of Militants, Martyrs
and Spies,_ I.B.Tauris, 2007 p.182:'The Rafiah crossing is the gateway
Palestinians refer to as their open-air prison – the Gaza
* Anna Ball, \'Impossible Intimacies,\' in Anastasia Valassopoulos
(ed.) _Arab Cultural Studies: History, Politics and the Popular,_
Routledge 2013 pp71-91 p.73: "...
Gaza Strip Barrier, a structure that
has sealed Gaza's border with
Israel and has led to Gaza's description
as ″the world's largest open-air prison",
* ^ Erick Stakelbeck, _The
Terrorist Next Door: How the Government
is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat,_ Regnery Publishing, 2011
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1937, Cmd. 5479 Archived 27 January 2012 at the
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West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Geography of
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East Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Summer, 1955), pp. 323–327.
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Jewish Agency\'s "
11 points in the Negev " plan, in which 11 Jewish
villages were built across the Negev in a single night as a response
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