Gaza Strip

A Palestinian territory located on the Mediterranean Coast and bordering the northern Egyptian Sinai Peninsula to the south and southern Israel to the north and east. Est. population in 2007 according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics: 1,415,543. The territory was under Egyptian military rule from 1948-1967, followed by Israeli occupation. In 1994, the newly formed Palestinian Authority (PA) was granted limited self-government in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military remained in Gaza, retaining responsibility for external and internal security as well as for administration of Jewish Israeli settlements; these settlements and Israeli military facilities were evacuated by the Israeli government in 2005 in what is known as the Gaza Disengagement. Israel still maintains control over Gaza’s air space, and land and sea borders, and has heightened an ongoing Gaza blockade of the enclave since 2007. Israel continues to launch military operations within Gaza, including the Gaza Wars of 2008/9, 2012, and 2014. The enclave has been effectively ruled by Hamas since the 2007 Hamas-Fatah conflict. A unity government agreement with the Fatah-dominated PA was reached in 2014, but as of May 2015, it has yet to be meaningfully implemented. See "Gaza Strip," B’tselem.

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