Gaza strip

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Introduction - Gaza Strip:


Gaza Strip


The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed in Washington in September 1993, provided for a transitional period of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. A transfer of authority to the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the Gaza Strip and Jericho took place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area and, in additional areas of the West Bank, pursuant to the Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim Agreement, the Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron, the Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum, and the 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. Direct negotiations to determine the permanent status of Gaza and the West Bank began in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus, but were derailed by a second intifadah that broke out a year later. In April 2003, the Quartet (US, EU, UN, and Russia) presented a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005 based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. The proposed date for a permanent status agreement has been postponed indefinitely due to violence and accusations that both sides have not followed through on their commitments. Following Palestinian leader Yasir ARAFATs death in late 2004, Mahmud ABBAS was elected PA president in January 2005. A month later, Israel and the PA agreed to the Sharm el-Sheikh Commitments in an effort to move the peace process forward. In September 2005, Israel withdrew all its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip and four northern West Bank settlements. Nonetheless, Israel controls maritime, airspace, and most access to the Gaza Strip. A November 2005 PA-Israeli agreement authorized the reopening of the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt under joint PA and Egyptian control. In January 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won control of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). The international community has refused to accept the HAMAS-led government because it does not recognize Israel, will not renounce violence, and refuses to honor previous peace agreements between Israel and the PA. Since March 2006, President Abbas has had little success negotiating with HAMAS to present a political platform acceptable to the international community so as to lift the economic siege on Palestinians. The PLC was unable to convene in late 2006 as a result of Israels detention of many HAMAS PLC members and Israeli-imposed travel restrictions on other PLC members.

Location - Gaza Strip:


Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Israel

Geographic coordinates

31 25 N, 34 20 E

Map references

Middle East


total: 360 sq km
land: 360 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area comparative

slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

total: 62 km
border countries: Egypt 11 km, Israel 51 km


40 km

Maritime claims

Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation


temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summers


flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Abu Awdah (Joz Abu Auda) 105 m

Natural resources

arable land, natural gas

Land use

arable land: 29%
permanent crops: 21%
other: 50% (2002)

Irrigated land

150 sq km; note - includes West Bank (2003)

Natural hazards


Environment current issues

desertification; salination of fresh water; sewage treatment; water-borne disease; soil degradation; depletion and contamination of underground water resources

Geography note

strategic strip of land along Mideast-North African trade routes has experienced an incredibly turbulent history; the town of Gaza itself has been besieged countless times in its history

People - Gaza Strip:


1,482,405 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 47.6% (male 361,115/female 344,236)
15-64 years: 49.9% (male 377,927/female 361,824)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 15,454/female 21,849) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 16 years
male: 15.9 years
female: 16.2 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

3.66% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

38.9 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

3.74 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

1.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.049 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.045 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.707 male(s)/female
total population: 1.037 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 21.88 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.91 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.16 years
male: 70.84 years
female: 73.54 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.64 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate


Hiv aids people living with hiv aids


Hiv aids deaths



noun: NA
adjective: NA

Ethnic groups

Palestinian Arab and other 99.4%, Jewish 0.6%


Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 98.7%, Christian 0.7%, Jewish 0.6%


Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.4%
male: 96.7%
female: 88% (2004 est.)

Government - Gaza Strip:

Country name

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gaza Strip
local long form: none
local short form: Qita Ghazzah

Economy - Gaza Strip:

Economy overview

High population density, limited land access, and strict internal and external security controls have kept economic conditions in the Gaza Strip - the smaller of the two areas under the Palestinian Authority (PA)- even more degraded than in the West Bank. The beginning of the second intifadah in September 2000 sparked an economic downturn, largely the result of Israeli closure policies; these policies, which were imposed to address security concerns in Israel, disrupted labor and trade access to and from the Gaza Strip. In 2001, and even more severely in 2003, Israeli military measures in PA areas resulted in the destruction of capital, the disruption of administrative structures, and widespread business closures. The Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September 2005 offered some medium-term opportunities for economic growth, which have not yet been realized due to Israeli military activities in the Gaza Strip in 2006, continued crossings closures, and the international communitys financial embargo of the PA after HAMAS took office in March 2006.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$5.327 billion (includes West Bank) (2005 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$3.45 billion (includes West Bank) (2003 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

4.9% (includes West Bank) (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$1,500 (includes West Bank) (2003 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 8%
industry: 18.2%
services: 73.9% (includes West Bank) (2005 est.)

Labor force

259,000 (2005)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 12%
industry: 18%
services: 70% (2005)

Unemployment rate

20.3% (includes West Bank) (2005)

Population below poverty line

63.1% (2005 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

2.9% (includes West Bank) (2005)


revenues: $1.23 billion
expenditures: $1.64 billion; including capital expenditures of $44 million; (includes West Bank) (2005)

Agriculture products

olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products


generally small family businesses that produce textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis had established some small-scale modern industries in an industrial center, but operations ceased prior to Israels evacuation of Gaza Strip settlements

Industrial production growth rate

2.4% (includes West Bank) (2005)

Electricity production

140,000 kWh (2005)

Electricity consumption

230,000 kWh (2005)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2005)

Electricity imports

90,000 kWh; note - from Israeli Electric Company (2005)


$301 million f.o.b.; (includes West Bank) (2005)

Exports commodities

citrus, flowers, textiles

Exports partners

Israel, Egypt, West Bank (2006)


$2.44 billion c.i.f.; (includes West Bank) (2005)

Imports commodities

food, consumer goods, construction materials

Imports partners

Israel, Egypt, West Bank (2006)

Debt external


Economic aid recipient

$1.14 billion; (includes West Bank) (2004 est.)

Currency code

new Israeli shekel (ILS)

Exchange rates

new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.4565 (2006), 4.4877 (2005), 4.482 (2004), 4.5541 (2003), 4.7378 (2002)

Communications - Gaza Strip:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

349,000 (includes West Bank) (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular

1.095 million (includes West Bank) (2005)

Telephone system

general assessment: NA
domestic: Israeli company BEZEK and the Palestinian company PALTEL are responsible for fixed line services in the Gaza Strip; the Palestinian JAWAL company provides cellular services
international: country code - 970 (2004)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 0, FM 8, shortwave 0 (2005)

Television broadcast stations

1 (2005)

Internet country code

.ps; note - same as West Bank

Internet users

243,000 (includes West Bank) (2005)

Transportation - Gaza Strip:


note: includes Gaza International Airport closed since its runway was destroyed by the Israeli Defense Forces in December 2001 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2006)


1 (2006)


note: see entry for West Bank

Ports and terminals


Military - Gaza Strip:

Military branches

in accordance with the peace agreement, the Palestinian Authority is not permitted conventional military forces; there are, however, public security forces (2007)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 260,855 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 221,530 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 15,196 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp


Disputes international

West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Israel removed settlers and military personnel from the Gaza Strip in August 2005

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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