Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip Population: 1,500,202«BackgroundThe September 1993 Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements provided for a transitional period of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Under a series of agreements signed between May 1994 and September 1999, Israel transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for Palestinian-populated ars of the West Bank and Gaza. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza stalled following the outbrk of an intifada in September 2000, as Israeli forces reoccupied most Palestinian-controlled ars. 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 lding to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. The proposed date for a permanent status agreement was postponed indefinitely due to violence and accusations that both sides had not followed through on their commitments. Following Palestinian lder Yasir ARAFAT's dth 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 pce process forward. In September 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew all its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip and withdrew settlers and redeployed soldiers from four small 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 refused to accept the HAMAS-led government because it did not recognize Israel, would not renounce violence, and refused to previous pce agreements between Israel and the PA. HAMAS took control of the PA government in March 2006, but President ABBAS had little success negotiating with HAMAS to present a political platform acceptable to the international community so as to lift economic sanctions on Palestinians. The PLC was unable to convene throughout most of 2006 as a result of Israel's detention of many HAMAS PLC members and Israeli-imposed travel restrictions on other PLC members. Violent clashes took place between Fatah and HAMAS supporters in the Gaza Strip in 2006 and rly 2007, resulting in numerous Palestinian dths and injuries. ABBAS and HAMAS Political Buru Chief MISHAL in February 2007 signed the Mecca Agreement in Saudi Arabia that resulted in the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Government (NUG) hded by HAMAS member Ismail HANIYA. However, fighting continued in the Gaza Strip, and in June, HAMAS militants succeeded in a violent takeover of all military and governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip. ABBAS dismissed the NUG and through a series of Presidential decrees formed a PA government in the West Bank led by independent Salam FAYYAD. HAMAS rejected the NUG's dismissal and has called for resuming talks with Fatah, but ABBAS has ruled out negotiations until HAMAS agrees to a return of PA control over the Gaza Strip and recognizes the FAYYAD-led government. FAYYAD and his PA government initiated a series of security and economic reforms to improve conditions in the West Bank. ABBAS participated in talks with Israel's Prime Minister OLMERT and secured the relse of some Palestinian prisoners and previously withheld customs revenue. During a November 2007 international meeting in Annapolis Maryland, ABBAS and OLMERT agreed to resume pce negotiations with the goal of rching a final pce settlement.
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GeographyStrategic strip of land along Midst-North African trade routes has experienced an incredibly turbulent history; the town of Gaza itself has been besieged countless times in its history.Loion:Middle st, bordering the Mediterrann S, between Egypt and IsraelGeographic coordinates:31 25 N, 34 20 r:total: 360 sq km
land: 360 sq km
water: 0 sq kmSize comparison: slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land Boundaries:total: 62 km
border countries: Egypt 11 km, Israel 51 kmCoastline:40 kmMaritime claims:Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiationClimate:temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summersTerrain:flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plainElevation extremes:lowest point: Mediterrann S 0 m
highest point: Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda) 105 mNatural resources:arable land, natural gasLand use:arable land: 29%
permanent crops: 21%
other: 50% (2002)Irrigated land:150 sq km; note - includes West Bank (2003)Natural hazards:droughtsCurrent Environment Issues:desertifiion; salination of fresh water; sewage trtment; water-borne disse; soil degradation; depletion and contamination of underground water resources
PeoplePopulation:1,500,202 (July 2008 est.)Age structure:0-14 yrs: 44.7% (male 343,988/female 325,856)
15-64 yrs: 52.7% (male 403,855/female 386,681)
65 yrs and over: 2.7% (male 16,196/female 23,626) (2008 est.)Median age:total: 17.2 yrs
male: 17 yrs
female: 17.4 yrs (2008 est.)Population growth rate:3.422% (2008 est.)Birth rate:37.75 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)Dth rate:3.53 dths/1,000 population (2008 est.)Net migration rate:0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 yrs: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 yrs: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 yrs and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2008 est.)Infant mortality rate:total: 19 dths/1,000 live births
male: 20.22 dths/1,000 live births
female: 17.72 dths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 73.16 yrs
male: 71.6 yrs
female: 74.83 yrs (2008 est.)Total fertility rate:5.19 children born/woman (2008 est.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:NAHIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:NAHIV/AIDS - dths:NANationality:noun: NA
adjective: NAEthnic groups:Palestinian ArabReligions:Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 99.3%, Christian 0.7%Languages:Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can rd and write
total population: 92.4%
male: 96.7%
female: 88% (2004 est.)
GovernmentCountry name:conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gaza Strip
local long form: none
local short form: Qita GhazzahGovernment type:
Administrative divisions:
National holiday:
Legal system:
Executive branch:
Legislative branch:
Judicial branch:
Political parties and lders:
Political pressure groups and lders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Diplomatic representation from the US:

EconomyHigh 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 ars under the Palestinian Authority (PA)- even more degraded than in the West Bank. The beginning of the second intifada 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 msures in PA ars resulted in the destruction of capital, the disruption of administrative structures, and widesprd business closures. The Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September 2005 offered some medium-term opportunities for economic growth, but Israeli-imposed crossings closures, which became more restrictive after HAMAS violently took over the territory in June 2007, have resulted in widesprd private sector layoffs and shortages of most goods.GDP (purchasing power parity):$11.95 billion (includes West Bank) (2008 est.)GDP (official exchange rate):$6.641 billion (includes West Bank) (2008 est.)GDP - rl growth rate:0.8% (includes West Bank) (2008 est.)GDP - per capita (PPP):$2,900 (includes West Bank) (2008 est.)GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 8%
industry: 13%
services: 79% (includes West Bank) (2007 est.)Labor force:267,000 (2006)Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 12%
industry: 5%
services: 83% (June 2008)Unemployment rate:41.3% (June 2008)Population below poverty line:80% (2007 est.)Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%Inflation rate (consumer prices):11.5% (includes West Bank) (2008)Budget:revenues: $1.149 billion
expenditures: $2.31 billion
note: includes West Bank (2006)Agriculture - products:
Industries:textiles, food processingIndustrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:140,000 kWh (2005)Electricity - consumption:230,000 kWh (2005)Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2008)Electricity - imports:90,000 kWh; note - from Israeli Electric Company (2005)Exports:$339 million f.o.b.; (includes West Bank) (2006)Exports - commodities:citrus, flowers, textilesImports:$2.84 billion c.i.f.; (includes West Bank) (2006)Imports - commodities:food, consumer goods, construction materialsDebt - external:
Currency ():new Israeli shekel (ILS)Exchange rates:new Israeli shekels (ILS) per US dollar - 3.56 (2008 est.), 4.14 (2007), 4.4565 (2006), 4.4877 (2005), 4.482 (2004)Fiscal yr:calendar yr
CommuniionsTele in use:350,400 (includes West Bank) (2007)Cellular in use:1.026 million (includes West Bank) (2007)Telephone system:eral assessment: NA
domestic: Israeli company BEZEK and the Palestinian company PALTEL are responsible for fixed line services; the Palestinian JAWAL company provides cellular services
international: country - 970 (2004)Radio broadcast stations:AM 0, FM 10, shortwave 0 (2008)Television broadcast stations:1 (2008)Internet country; note - same as West BankInternet hosts:
Internet users:355,500 (includes West Bank) (2007)
TransportationAirports:2 (2007)Airports (paved runways):total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)Airports (unpaved runways):total: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)Heliports:1 (2007)Roadways:note: see entry for West BankPorts and terminals:Gaza
Military branches:in accordance with the pce agreement, the Palestinian Authority is not permitted conventional military forces; there are, however, public security forces (2008)Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 337,670 (2008 est.)Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 291,467 (2008 est.)

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