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Gaza Strip

 
 

Coordinates:
31.42 N  34.33 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Gaza Strip

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Gaza Strip Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, provided for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Under the DOP, Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority (PA) as part of the interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and responsibilities 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. The DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the transitional period for external and internal security and for public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Direct negotiations to determine the permanent status of Gaza and West Bank began in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus, but were derailed by a second intifadah that broke out in September 2000. 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. Longtime Palestinian leader Yasir ARAFAT died in November 2004 and Mahmud ABBAS was elected PA president in January 2005, bringing hope of a turning point in the conflict. In February 2005 Israel and the PA agreed to the Sharm el-Sheikh Commitments, focused on security issues, in an effort to move the peace process forward. Progress has been slow because of different interpretations of the verbal agreement by the two sides. 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. An agreement signed by the PA and Israel in November 2005 authorized the reopening of the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt under joint PA and Egyptian control, with monitoring provided by the EU.
   Geography    Gaza Strip Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Israel
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
31 25 N, 34 20 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Middle East
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 360 sq km
land: 360 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 62 km
border countries: Egypt 11 km, Israel 51 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
40 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summers
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda) 105 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
arable land, natural gas
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 29%
permanent crops: 21%
other: 50% (2002)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
150 sq km; note - includes West Bank (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
desertification; salination of fresh water; sewage treatment; water-borne disease; soil degradation; depletion and contamination of underground water resources
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,428,757 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 48.1% (male 351,642/female 335,060)
15-64 years: 49.4% (male 360,147/female 345,318)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 15,231/female 21,359) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 15.8 years
male: 15.7 years
female: 16 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.71% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
39.45 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.8 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 22.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 23.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 21.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 71.97 years
male: 70.67 years
female: 73.34 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.78 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: NA
adjective: NA
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Palestinian Arab and other 99.4%, Jewish 0.6%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 98.7%, Christian 0.7%, Jewish 0.6%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.9%
male: 96.3%
female: 87.4% (2003 est.)
   Government    Gaza Strip Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gaza Strip
local long form: none
local short form: Qita Ghazzah
   Economy    Gaza Strip Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
High population density, limited land access, and strict internal and external 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 in response to security interests in Israel, disrupted labor and commodity relationships with the Gaza Strip. In 2001, and even more severely in 2003, Israeli military measures in PA areas resulted in the destruction of much capital plant, the disruption of administrative structure, and widespread business closures. Including the West Bank, the UN estimates that more than 100,000 Palestinians out of the 125,000 who used to work in Israel or in joint industrial zones have lost their jobs. Half the labor force is unemployed. Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September 2005 offers some medium-term opportunities for economic growth, especially given the removal of restrictions on internal movement. In addition, recent agreements and continuing negotiations on the administration of Gaza's border crossings increase the prospects for trade.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$768 million (2003 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
NA
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$600 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 9%
industry: 28%
services: 63% (includes West Bank) (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
278,000 (April-June 2005)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 11.9%
industry: 18%
services: 70.1% (2nd qtr. 2005)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31% (includes West Bank) (January-September 2005 avg.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
81% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3% (includes West Bank) (2004)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $964 million
expenditures: $1.34 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA; note - these budget data include West Bank (2004)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
generally small family businesses that produce textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis have established some small-scale modern industries in an industrial center, but operations ceased prior to Israel's evacuation of Gaza Strip settlements
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by the Gaza Strip power plant and by an Israeli utility
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA kWh
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
NA kWh; note - some electricity supplied by an Israeli utility (2005)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$270 million f.o.b.; note - includes West Bank (2003)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
citrus, flowers, textiles
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Israel, Egypt, West Bank (2004)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.952 billion c.i.f.; note - includes West Bank (2003)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
food, consumer goods, construction materials
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Israel, Egypt, West Bank (2004)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$0; note - includes West Bank (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$2 billion; note - includes West Bank (2004 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
new Israeli shekel (ILS)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.4877 (2005), 4.482 (2004), 4.5541 (2003), 4.7378 (2002), 4.2057 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Gaza Strip Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
357,300 (total for Gaza Strip and West Bank) (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
974,300 (cellular subscribers in both Gaza Strip and West Bank) (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 0, FM 8, shortwave 0 (2005)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2005)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.ps
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
160,000 (includes West Bank) (2004)
   Transportation    Gaza Strip Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2 (2001)
note: includes Gaza International Airport (GIA), inaugurated on 24 November 1998 as part of agreements stipulated in the September 1995 Oslo II Accord and the 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum; GIA has been largely closed since October 2000 by Israeli orders and its runway was destroyed by the Israeli Defense Forces in December 2001 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
note: see entry for West Bank
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Gaza
   Military    Gaza Strip Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
in accordance with the peace agreement, the Palestinian Authority is not permitted conventional military forces; there are, however, public security forces (2002)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 260,855 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 221,530 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 15,196 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
   Transnational Issues    Gaza Strip Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
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
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
refugees (country of origin): 986,034 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)) (2005)

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook