Last updated on: 11/2/2015 10:02:34 AM PST
What and Where Is the Gaza Strip?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The CIA World Factbook, in the "Gaza Strip" section of its website, www.cia.gov, updated Sep. 24, 2015, wrote:

Gaza Strip"Inhabited since at least the 15th century B.C., Gaza has been dominated by many different peoples and empires throughout its history; it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the early 16th century. Gaza fell to British forces during World War I, becoming a part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip; it was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967. Under a series of agreements signed between 1994 and 1999, Israel transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip stalled after the outbreak of an intifada in mid-2000...

Israel in late 2005 unilaterally withdrew all of its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip, but continues to control maritime, airspace, and other access. In early 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won the Palestinian Legislative Council election, but attempts to form a unity government between Fatah and HAMAS failed, and violent clashes between Fatah and HAMAS supporters ensued, culminating in HAMAS's violent seizure of all military and governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Fatah and HAMAS in May 2011 reached an agreement aimed at restoring political unity between Gaza and the West Bank, but struggled to implement it. In April 2014, the two factions signed another agreement and two months later President ABBAS formed an interim government of independent technocrats, none of whom were affiliated with HAMAS. In July 2014, HAMAS and other militant groups launched rockets into Israel that resulted in a 51-day conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza. An open-ended truce declared in late August 2014 continues to hold, despite the absence of a durable negotiated cease-fire and occasional truce violations. The status quo remains with HAMAS in control of the Gaza Strip and the PA governing the West Bank...

Area:
Total: 360 sq km
Land: 360 sq km
Water: 0 sq km...

Population: 1,869,055 (July 2015 est.)."

Sep. 24, 2015 - Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook 

The Encyclopedia Britannica, in the "Gaza Strip" entry on its website, updated Apr. 7, 2014, wrote:

"Gaza Strip, Arabic Qita' Ghazzah, Hebrew Rezu'at 'Azza, territory occupying 140 square miles (363 square km) along the Mediterranean Sea just northeast of the Sinai Peninsula. The Gaza Strip is unusual in being a densely settled area not recognized as a de jure part of any extant country. The first accurate census, conducted in September 1967, showed a population smaller than had previously been estimated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) or by Egypt, with nearly half of the people living in refugee camps...

The Gaza Strip is situated on a relatively flat coastal plain. Temperatures average in the mid-50s F (about 13 °C) in the winter and in the upper 70s to low 80s F (mid- to upper 20s C) in summer. The area receives an average of about 12 inches (300 mm) of precipitation annually.

Living conditions in the Gaza Strip are typically poor for a number of reasons: the region's dense and rapidly increasing population (the area's growth rate is one of the highest in the world); inadequate water, sewage, and electrical services; high rates of unemployment; and, from September 2007, sanctions imposed by Israel on the region. Agriculture is the economic mainstay of the employed population, and nearly three-fourths of the land area is under cultivation. The chief crop, citrus fruit, is raised on irrigated lands and is exported to Europe and other markets under arrangement with Israel. Truck crops, wheat, and olives also are produced. Light industry and handicrafts are centred in Gaza, the chief city of the area. In politically stable times, as much as one-tenth of the Palestinian population travels daily to Israel (where they are not allowed to stay overnight) to work in menial jobs. Political tension and outbreaks of violence often led Israeli authorities to close the border for extended periods, putting many Palestinians out of work. As a result, a thriving smuggling industry emerged, based on a network of subterranean tunnels linking parts of the Gaza Strip with neighbouring Egypt. The tunnels provided Palestinians with access to goods such as food, fuel, medicine, electronics, and weapons."

Apr. 7, 2014 - Encyclopedia Britannica