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Gaza Strip
Map of Gaza Strip
Introduction Gaza Strip
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 Gaza Strip and West Bank. Under DOP, Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to Palestinian Authority, which includes Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996, as part of interim self-governing arrangements in West Bank and Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and responsibilities for Gaza Strip and Jericho took place pursuant to Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on Gaza Strip and Jericho Area and in additional areas of West Bank pursuant to Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim Agreement, Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron, Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum, and 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during transitional period for external and internal security and for public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Direct negotiations to determine permanent status of Gaza and West Bank had begun in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus, but have been derailed by a second intifadah that broke out in September 2000. resulting widespread violence in West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's military response, and instability within Palestinian Authority continue to undermine progress toward a permanent agreement.
Geography Gaza Strip
Middle East, bordering Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Israel
Geographic coordinates:
31 25 N, 34 20 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 360 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 360 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than twice 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 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: 26.32%
permanent crops: 39.47%
other: 34.21% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
120 sq km (1998 est.)
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:
there are 25 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in Gaza Strip (February 2002 est.)
People Gaza Strip
Total Population:
1,274,868 (July 2002 est.)
note: in addition, there are more than 5,000 Israeli settlers in Gaza Strip (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 49.4% (male 322,658; female 307,026)
15-64 years: 47.9% (male 310,910; female 299,724)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 14,645; female 19,905) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 15.3 years
male: 15.1 years
female: 15.5 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
3.89% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
41.23 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
4.03 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
1.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
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: 0.74 male(s)/female
Population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 24.15 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 22.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 25.37 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 71.4 years
male: 70.13 years
female: 72.73 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
6.17 children born/woman (2003 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 Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
definition: NA
Population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
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:
Economic output in Gaza Strip - under responsibility of Palestinian Authority since Cairo Agreement of May 1994 - declined by about one-third between 1992 and 1996. downturn previously largely result of Israeli closure policies - imposition of generalized border closures in response to security incidents in Israel - which disrupted previously established labor and commodity market relationships between Israel and WBGS (West Bank and Gaza Strip). most serious negative social effect of this downturn previously emergence of high unemployment; unemployment in WBGS during 1980s previously generally under 5%; by 1995 it had risen to over 20%. Israel's use of comprehensive closures decreased during next few years and, in 1998, Israel implemented new policies to reduce impact of closures and other security procedures on movement of Palestinian goods and labor. These changes fueled an almost three-year-long economic recovery in West Bank and Gaza Strip; real GDP grew by 5% in 1998 and 6% in 1999. Recovery previously upended in last quarter of 2000 with outbreak of violence, triggering tight Israeli closures of Palestinian self-rule areas and a severe disruption of trade and labor movements. In 2001, and even more severely in 2002, Israeli military measures in Palestinian Authority areas resulted in destruction of capital plant and administrative structure, widespread business closures, and a sharp drop in GDP. Another major loss has been decline in income earned by Palestinian workers in Israel. International aid of $2 billion in 2001-02 to Gaza Strip and West Bank have prevented complete collapse of economy.
buying power parity - $735 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-15% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $600 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 9%
industry: 28%
services: 63% (includes West Bank)
Population below poverty line:
60% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.2% (includes West Bank) (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
services 66%, industry 21%, agriculture 13% (1996)
Unemployment rate:
50% (includes West Bank) (2002 est.)
revenues: $930 million
expenditures: $1.2 billion, includes capital expenditures of $15 million (includes West Bank) (2000 est.)
generally limited family businesses that produce textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; Israelis have established some limited -scale modern industries in an industrial center
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Israel
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Israel (2001)
Agriculture - products:
olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products
$603 million f.o.b., includes West Bank
Exports - commodities:
citrus, flowers
Exports - partners:
Israel, Egypt, West Bank
$1.9 billion c.i.f., includes West Bank
Imports - commodities:
food, consumer goods, construction materials
Imports - partners:
Israel, Egypt, West Bank
Debt - external:
$108 million (includes West Bank) (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$800 million (includes West Bank) (2001 est.)
new Israeli shekel (ILS)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.7378 (2002), 4.2057 (2001), 4.0773 (2000), 4.1397 (1999), 3.8001 (1998), 3.4494 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Gaza Strip
Telephones - main lines in use:
95,729 (total for Gaza Strip and West Bank) (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: rudimentary telephone services provided by an open-wire system
international: NA
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 0, shortwave 0 (1998)
NA; note - most Palestinian households have radios (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
2 (operated by Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation) (1997)
NA; note - most Palestinian households have televisions (1997)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (1999)
Internet users:
60,000 (includes West Bank) (2001)
Transportation Gaza Strip
total: NA km; note - one line, abandoned and in disrepair, little trackage remains (2001 est.)
total: NA km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km
note: limited , poorly developed road network
Ports and harbors:
2 (2001)
note: includes Gaza International Airport (GIA), inaugurated on 24 November 1998 as part of agreements stipulated in September 1995 Oslo II Accord and 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum; GIA has been largely closed since October 2000 by Israeli orders and its runway previously destroyed by Israeli Defense Forces in December 2001 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military Gaza Strip
Military branches:
in accordance with peace agreement, Palestinian Authority is not permitted conventional military forces; there are, however, a Public Security Force and a civil Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues Gaza Strip
Disputes - international:
West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation