The Gaza Strip (/ˈɡɑːzəˈstrɪp/;Arabic: قطاع غزة Qiṭāʿ Ġazzah[qɪˈtˤɑːʕ ˈɣazza]), or simply Gaza, is a small self-governing Palestinian territory on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, that borders Egypt on the southwest for 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) and Israelon the east and north along a 51 km (32 mi) border. Gaza, together with the West Bank, comprise 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 of the Palestinian Authority, but Gaza has since June 2007 been governed by 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 time onwards.
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 Palestinians on 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, 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 utilities.
When Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election, 2006, Fatah refused to join the proposed coalition, until a short-lived unity government agreement was brokered by 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 plan, 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.
adding page this day
Daniel Wickham (@DanielWickham93) tweeted at 3:33 PM – 26 Jun 2017 :
Useful UNOCHA fact sheet on the humanitarian impact of the Hamas-PA divide and ongoing Israeli blockade on Gaza: https://t.co/AahP3ON7Z3https://t.co/74GTUY6hGd (http://twitter.com/DanielWickham93/status/879452531654619137?s=17)
- In June 2007, following hostilities between Fatah and Hamas, the latter took control of the Gaza Strip, starting a divide between the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) and the de-facto Hamas authorities in Gaza, which still continues.
- Since 2014, all of the 22,000 civil servants recruited by the Hamas authorities have received less than half of their salaries, on an irregular basis. The other 62,000 staff in Gaza, who are on the PA’s payroll, had their salaries cut by 30-50% since March 2017.
- Due to internal disputes regarding the funding and taxation of fuel for the Gaza Power Plant (GPP), in April 2017 the plant shut down, but resumed partial operations in late June, on the basis of fuel purchased from Egypt.
- In May 2017, the PA decided to cut its payments for the electricity that Israel provides to Gaza; in June, Israel reduced its supply by 40%.
- As of 22 June, households and service providers in Gaza receive 4-6 hours of electricity a day.
- 186 critical facilities providing health, water and sanitation, and solid waste collection services are being supported by emergency fuel delivered by the UN; reserves are expected to last until October 2017.
- Due to delays in shipments from the West Bank and longstanding funding gaps, 34% of essential drugs at the Central Drug Store in Gaza are out of stock.
- The referral of over 1,400 patients to medical treatment outside Gaza has been disrupted since March 2017, following the PA’s apparent suspension of its payments for this service.
- Most families in Gaza only receive piped water for 6-8 hours, once every four days, due to insufficient power supply; desalination plants are functioning at 15% of their capacity.
- Over 108 million litres of almost totally untreated sewage are being discharged into the Mediterranean every day due to electricity and fuel shortages. l The Palestinian Civil Defense in Gaza, in charge of rescue operations during emergencies, can operate at less than 45% of its normal capacity, due to critical shortages in staff and equipment, partially due to PA budget cuts.
Jillian (@jilliancyork) tweeted at 3:59 AM – 10 Jul 2017 :
A reminder that Israel controls all of the infrastructure in Palestine. https://t.co/rmmMCXcuZd (http://twitter.com/jilliancyork/status/884351251462463488?s=17)
Cutting the electricity is a form of blocking access the Internet. Israel is doing so in Gaza.
Palestine, officially the State of Palestine is a de jure sovereign state in the Middle East claiming the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the designated capital although its administrative center is located in Ramallah.
Arjan El Fassed (@arjanelfassed) tweeted at 4:02 AM – 10 Jul 2017 :
@jilliancyork and a reminder that people in gaza are used as pawns by all authorities. (http://twitter.com/arjanelfassed/status/884352122510336000?s=17)
Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) tweeted at 4:53 AM – 13 Jul 2017 :
“All thoughts of persistance and resistance end with the first egg that rots in your refrigerator” (Gaza is without power or drinking water) https://t.co/nxjdNWzTr1 (http://twitter.com/mollycrabapple/status/885452098229415936?s=17)
Oz Katerji (@OzKaterji) tweeted at 9:22 AM – 12 Jul 2017 :
My latest piece from the Gaza Strip https://t.co/ad0VFTWlfy (http://twitter.com/OzKaterji/status/885157521962541056?s=17)
艾未未 Ai Weiwei (@aiww) tweeted at 4:25 AM – 12 Jul 2017 :
Gaza conditions ‘unlivable’ 10 years into siege: UN | News | Al Jazeera https://t.co/hOvKQ4AHyU(http://twitter.com/aiww/status/885082751715733504?s=17)
Democracy Now! (@democracynow) tweeted at 6:38 AM – 19 Jul 2017 :
.@RajiSourani speaks from Gaza: “We are living in the biggest man-made disaster. Israel promised to send us to the Middle Ages and they did” https://t.co/x1NedKYIoy (http://twitter.com/democracynow/status/887652746396143616?s=17)