Gaza Strip

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Gaza Strip
قطاع غزة
Flag of the Gaza Strip
Status
CapitalGaza City
31°30′53″N 34°27′15″E / 31.51472°N 34.45417°E / 31.51472; 34.45417
Largest cityRafah[4]
Official languagesArabic
Ethnic groups
Palestinian Arabs
Religion
Demonym(s)Gazan
Palestinian
Government
• State
 State of Palestine
Area
• Total
365 km2 (141 sq mi)
Population
• 2022 estimate
2,375,259[5]
• Density
6,507/km2 (16,853.1/sq mi)
CurrencyIsraeli new shekel
Egyptian pound[6]
Time zoneUTC+2 (Palestine Standard Time)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (Palestine Summer Time)
Calling code+970
ISO 3166 codePS
  1. ^ The State of Palestine is recognized by 138 members of the United Nations as well as the Holy See.
  2. ^ Although Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, the United Nations, international human rights organizations and many legal scholars regard the Gaza Strip to still be under military occupation by Israel,[2] as Israel still maintains direct control over Gaza's air and maritime space, six of Gaza's seven land crossings, a no-go buffer zone within the territory, and the Palestinian population registry. However, Israel and other legal scholars dispute this.[3]

The Gaza Strip (/ˈɡɑːzə/ ;[7] Arabic: قِطَاعُ غَزَّةَ Qiṭāʿ Ġazzah [qɪˈtˤɑːʕ ˈɣaz.za]), or simply Gaza, is a polity and the smaller of the two Palestinian territories (the other being the West Bank). On the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Gaza is bordered by Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the east and north.

The territory came into being when it was controlled by Egypt during the 1948 Arab–Israeli war, and became a refuge for Palestinians who fled or were expelled during the 1948 Palestine war.[8][9] Later, during the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured and occupied the Gaza Strip, initiating its decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territories.[8][9] The mid-1990s Oslo Accords established the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a limited governing authority, initially led by the secular party Fatah until that party's electoral defeat in 2006 to the Sunni Islamic Hamas. Hamas would then take over the governance of Gaza in a battle the next year,[10][11][12][13] subsequently warring with Israel.

In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew its military forces from Gaza, dismantled its settlements, and implemented a temporary blockade of Gaza. The blockade became indefinite after the 2007 Hamas takeover, supported by Egypt through restrictions on its land border with Gaza.[14] Despite the Israeli disengagement, the United Nations (UN), the International Committee of the Red Cross, and many human-rights organizations continue to consider Gaza to be held under Israeli military occupation, due to what they consider Israel's effective military control over the territory; Israel disputes that it occupies the territory.[15][16][17] The land, sea, and air blockade prevents people and goods from freely entering or leaving the territory, leading to Gaza often being called an "open-air prison."[18][19] The UN, as well as at least 19 human-rights organizations, have urged Israel to lift the blockade.[20] Israel has justified its blockade on the strip with wanting to stop flow of arms, but Palestinians and rights groups say it amounts to collective punishment and exacerbates dire living conditions.[21]

The Gaza Strip is 41 kilometres (25 miles) long, from 6 to 12 km (3.7 to 7.5 mi) wide, and has a total area of 365 km2 (141 sq mi).[22][23] With around 2 million Palestinians[24] on approximately 365 km2 (141 sq mi) of land, Gaza has one of the world's highest population densities.[25][26] More than 70% of Gaza's population are refugees or descendents of refugees, half of whom are under the age of 18.[27] Sunni Muslims make up most of Gaza's population, with a Palestinian Christian minority. Gaza has an annual population growth rate of 1.99% (2023 est.), the 39th-highest in the world.[28] Gaza's unemployment rate is among the highest in the world, with an overall unemployment rate of 46% and a youth unemployment rate of 70%.[14][29] The population has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.[30] Gaza has throughout the years been seen as a source of Palestinian nationalism and resistance.[31][32][33]

History

Historically part of the Palestine region, the area was controlled since the 16th century by the Ottoman Empire; in 1906 the Ottomans and the British Empire set the region's international border with Egypt.[34] With the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I and the subsequent partition of the Ottoman Empire, the British deferred the governance of the Gaza Strip area to Egypt, which declined the responsibility.[35] Britain itself kept and ruled the territory it occupied in 1917–18, from 1920 until 1948 under the internationally accepted frame of "Mandatory Palestine".

1948–1959: All-Palestine government

During the 1948 Palestine war and more specifically the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees fled or were expelled to the Gaza Strip.[36] By the end of the war, 25% of Mandatory Palestine's Arab population was in Gaza, though the Strip constituted only 1% of the land.[37] The same year, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established to administer various refugee programmes.[38]

On 22 September 1948 (near the end of the Arab–Israeli War), in the Egyptian-occupied Gaza City, the Arab League proclaimed the All-Palestine Government, partly to limit Transjordan's influence over Palestine. The All-Palestine Protectorate was quickly recognized by six of the Arab League's then-seven members (excluding Transjordan): Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.[39] It was not recognized by any other country.[citation needed]

After the cessation of hostilities, the Israel–Egypt Armistice Agreement of 24 February 1949 established the line of separation between Egyptian and Israeli forces, as well as the modern boundary between Gaza and Israel, which both signatories declared not to be an international border. The southern border with Egypt was unchanged.[34]

Palestinians living in Gaza or Egypt were issued All-Palestine passports. Egypt did not offer them citizenship. From the end of 1949, they received aid directly from UNRWA. During the Suez Crisis (1956), Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula were occupied by Israeli troops, who withdrew under international pressure. The All-Palestine government was accused of being little more than a façade for Egyptian control, with negligible independent funding or influence. It subsequently moved to Cairo and dissolved in 1959 by decree of Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser.[citation needed]

1956–1957: Israeli occupation

Palestinians in an outdoor market in the Gaza Strip in 1956

During the 1956 Suez Crisis (the Second Arab–Israeli war), Israel invaded Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula. On 3 November, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attacked Egyptian and Palestinian forces at Khan Yunis.[40] The city of Khan Younis resisted being captured, and Israel responded with a heavy bombing campaign that inflicted heavy civilian casualties.[41] After a fierce battle, the Israeli 37th Armored Brigade's Sherman tanks broke through the heavily fortified lines outside of Khan Yunis held by the 86th Palestinian Brigade.[42]

After some street-fighting with Egyptian soldiers and Palestinian fedayeen, Khan Yunis fell to the Israelis.[42] Upon capturing Khan Yunis, the IDF committed an alleged massacre.[43] Israeli troops started executing unarmed Palestinians, mostly civilians; in one instance men were lined up against walls in central square and executed with machine guns.[44] The claims of a massacre were reported to the United Nations General Assembly on 15 December 1956 by UNRWA director Henry Labouisse, who reported from "trustworthy sources" that 275 people were killed in the massacre, of which 140 were refugees and 135 local residents.[45][46]

On 12 November, days after the hostilities had ended, Israel killed 111 people in the Rafah refugee camp during Israeli operations, provoking international criticism.[47][43]

Israel ended the occupation in March 1957, amid international pressure. During the four-month Israeli occupation, 900–1,231 people were killed.[48] According to French historian Jean-Pierre Filiu, 1% of the population of Gaza was killed, wounded, imprisoned or tortured during the occupation.[48]

1959–1967: Egyptian occupation

Che Guevara visiting Gaza in 1959

After the dissolution of the All-Palestine Government in 1959, under the excuse of pan-Arabism, Egypt continued to occupy Gaza until 1967. Egypt never annexed the Strip, but instead treated it as a controlled territory and administered it through a military governor.[49] The influx of over 200,000 refugees from former Mandatory Palestine, roughly a quarter of those who fled or were expelled from their homes during, and in the aftermath of, the 1948 Arab–Israeli War into Gaza[50] resulted in a dramatic decrease in the standard of living. Because the Egyptian government restricted movement to and from Gaza, its inhabitants could not look elsewhere for gainful employment.[51]

1967: Israeli occupation

In June 1967, during the Six-Day War, IDF captured Gaza. Under the then head of Israel's Southern Command Ariel Sharon, dozens of Palestinians, suspected of being members of the resistance, were executed without trial.[52]

Between 1967 and 1968, Israel evicted approximately 75,000 residents of the Gaza Strip who Golda Meir described as a "fifth column". In addition, at least 25,000 Gazan residents were prevented from returning after the 1967 war. Ultimately, the Strip lost 25% (a conservative estimate) of its prewar population between 1967 and 1968.[53]

Between 1973 (after the Yom Kippur War) and 1987, official policy on economic development in the Gaza Strip remained the same as in 1969 with limited local investment and economic opportunity coming primarily from employment in Israel.[54]

Gaza City in 1967

According to Tom Segev, moving the Palestinians out of the country had been a persistent element of Zionist thinking from early times.[55] In December 1967, during a meeting at which the Security Cabinet brainstormed about what to do with the Arab population of the newly occupied territories, one of the suggestions Prime Minister Levi Eshkol proffered regarding Gaza was that the people might leave if Israel restricted their access to water supplies.[56][57] A number of measures, including financial incentives, were taken shortly afterwards to begin to encourage Gazans to emigrate elsewhere.[55][58] Following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, "various international agencies struggled to respond" and American Near East Refugee Aid was founded to help victims of the conflict by providing immediate emergency relief.[59]

Israeli soldiers in Gaza in 1969

Subsequent to this military victory, Israel created the first Israeli settlement bloc in the Strip, Gush Katif, in the southwest corner near Rafah and the Egyptian border on a spot where a small kibbutz had previously existed for 18 months between 1946 and 1948. The kibbutz community had been established as part of the Jewish Agency's "11 points in the Negev" plan, in which 11 Jewish villages were built across the Negev in a single night as a response to the Morrison-Grady Plan, which threatened to exclude the Negev from a future Jewish State. In total, between 1967 and 2005, Israel established 21 settlements in Gaza, comprising 20% of the total territory. The economic growth rate from 1967 to 1982 averaged roughly 9.7 percent per annum, due in good part to expanded income from work opportunities inside Israel, which had a major utility for the latter by supplying the country with a large unskilled and semi-skilled workforce. Gaza's agricultural sector was adversely affected as one-third of the Strip was appropriated by Israel, competition for scarce water resources stiffened, and the lucrative cultivation of citrus declined with the advent of Israeli policies, such as prohibitions on planting new trees and taxation that gave breaks to Israeli producers, factors which militated against growth. Gaza's direct exports of these products to Western markets, as opposed to Arab markets, was prohibited except through Israeli marketing vehicles, in order to assist Israeli citrus exports to the same markets. The overall result was that large numbers of farmers were forced out of the agricultural sector. Israel placed quotas on all goods exported from Gaza, while abolishing restrictions on the flow of Israeli goods into the Strip. Sara Roy characterised the pattern as one of structural de-development.[54]

On 26 March 1979, Israel and Egypt signed the Egypt–Israel peace treaty.[60] Among other things, the treaty provided for the withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had captured during the Six-Day War. The Egyptians agreed to keep the Sinai Peninsula demilitarized. The final status of the Gaza Strip, and other relations between Israel and Palestinians, was not dealt with in the treaty. Egypt renounced all territorial claims to territory north of the international border. The Gaza Strip remained under Israeli military administration. The Israeli military became responsible for the maintenance of civil facilities and services.

After the 1979 Egypt–Israel peace treaty, a 100-meter-wide buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt known as the Philadelphi Route was established. The international border along the Philadelphi corridor between Egypt and Gaza is 11 km (6.8 mi) long.

1987: First Intifada

Israeli soldiers opposite Palestinian protesters in the strip during the First Intifada in 1987

The First Intifada was a sustained series of protests and violent riots carried out by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.[61] It was motivated by collective Palestinian frustration over Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as it approached a twenty-year mark, having begun after Israel's victory in the 1967 Arab–Israeli War.[62] The uprising lasted from December 1987 until the Madrid Conference of 1991, though some date its conclusion to 1993, with the signing of the Oslo Accords.

The intifada began on 9 December 1987,[63] in the Jabalia refugee camp of the Gaza Strip after an Israeli army truck collided with a civilian car, killing four Palestinian workers.[64] Palestinians charged that the collision was a deliberate response for the killing of an Israeli in Gaza days earlier.[65] Israel denied that the crash, which came at time of heightened tensions, was intentional or coordinated.[66] The Palestinian response was characterized by protests, civil disobedience, and violence.[67][68] There was graffiti, barricading,[69][70] and widespread throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails at the IDF and its infrastructure within the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These contrasted with civil efforts including general strikes, boycotts of Israeli Civil Administration institutions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, an economic boycott consisting of refusal to work in Israeli settlements on Israeli products, refusal to pay taxes, and refusal to drive Palestinian cars with Israeli licenses.[67][68][69][70]

1994: Gaza under Palestinian Authority

In May 1994, following the Palestinian-Israeli agreements known as the Oslo Accords, a phased transfer of governmental authority to the Palestinians took place. Much of the Strip came under Palestinian control, except for the settlement blocs and military areas. The Israeli forces left Gaza City and other urban areas, leaving the new Palestinian Authority to administer and police those areas. The Palestinian Authority, led by Yasser Arafat, chose Gaza City as its first provincial headquarters. In September 1995, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed a second agreement, extending the Palestinian Authority to most West Bank towns.

Between 1994 and 1996, Israel built the Gaza–Israel barrier to improve security in Israel. The barrier was largely torn down by Palestinians at the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000.[71]

2000: Second Intifada

The Second Intifada was a major Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and Israel. The general triggers for the unrest are speculated to have been centred on the failure of the 2000 Camp David Summit, which was expected to reach a final agreement on the Israeli–Palestinian peace process in July 2000.[72] Outbreaks of violence began in September 2000, after Ariel Sharon, then the Israeli opposition leader, made a provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa compound on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem;[72] the visit itself was peaceful, but, as anticipated, sparked protests and riots that Israeli police put down with rubber bullets and tear gas.[73] The Second Intifada also marked the beginning of rocket attacks and bombings of Israeli border localities by Palestinian guerrillas from the Gaza Strip, especially by the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad movements.

High numbers of casualties were caused among civilians as well as combatants. Israeli forces engaged in gunfire, targeted killings, and tank and aerial attacks, while Palestinians engaged in suicide bombings, gunfire, stone-throwing, and rocket attacks.[74][75] Palestinian suicide bombings were a prominent feature of the fighting and mainly targeted Israeli civilians, contrasting with the relatively less violent nature of the First Intifada.[76][77][78][79][80] With a combined casualty figure for combatants and civilians, the violence is estimated to have resulted in the deaths of approximately 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis, as well as 64 foreigners.[81]

Between December 2000 and June 2001, the barrier between Gaza and Israel was reconstructed. A barrier on the Gaza Strip-Egypt border was constructed starting in 2004.[82] The main crossing points are the northern Erez Crossing into Israel and the southern Rafah Crossing into Egypt. The eastern Karni Crossing used for cargo, closed down in 2011.[83] Israel controls the Gaza Strip's northern borders, as well as its territorial waters and airspace. Egypt controls Gaza Strip's southern border, under an agreement between it and Israel.[84] Neither Israel or Egypt permits free travel from Gaza as both borders are heavily militarily fortified. "Egypt maintains a strict blockade on Gaza in order to isolate Hamas from Islamist insurgents in the Sinai."[85]

2005: Israel's unilateral disengagement

In 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and dismantled its settlements.[86] Israel also withdrew from the Philadelphi Route, a narrow strip of land adjacent to the border with Egypt, after Egypt agreed to secure its side of the border after the Agreement on Movement and Access, known as the Rafah Agreement.[87]

Despite the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza,[17] the United Nations, international human rights organisations, and the majority of governments and legal commentators consider the territory to be still occupied by Israel, supported by additional restrictions placed on Gaza by Egypt.[88][89][90][91] Israel maintains direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza: it controls Gaza's air and maritime space, as well as six of Gaza's seven land crossings. It reserves the right to enter Gaza at will with its military and maintains a no-go buffer zone within the Gaza territory. Gaza is dependent on Israel for water, electricity, telecommunications, and other utilities.[17] The extensive Israeli buffer zone within the Strip renders much land off-limits to Gaza's inhabitants.[92] The system of control imposed by Israel was described in the fall 2012 edition of International Security as an "indirect occupation".[93] The European Union (EU) considers Gaza to be occupied.[94]

Post-2006: Hamas takeover

In the Palestinian parliamentary elections held on 25 January 2006, Hamas won a plurality of 42.9% of the total vote and 74 out of 132 total seats (56%).[95][96] When Hamas assumed power the next month, Israel, the United States, the EU, Russia and the UN demanded that Hamas accept all previous agreements, recognize Israel's right to exist, and renounce violence; when Hamas refused,[97] they cut off direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, although some aid money was redirected to humanitarian organizations not affiliated with the government.[98] The resulting political disorder and economic stagnation led to many Palestinians emigrating from the Gaza Strip.[99]

Gaza City skyline, 2007

In January 2007, fighting erupted between Hamas and Fatah. The deadliest clashes occurred in the northern Gaza Strip. On 30 January 2007, a truce was negotiated between Fatah and Hamas.[100] After a few days, new fighting broke out. On 1 February, Hamas killed 6 people in an ambush on a Gaza convoy which delivered equipment for Abbas' Palestinian Presidential Guard.[101] Fatah fighters stormed a Hamas-affiliated university in the Gaza Strip. Officers from Abbas' presidential guard battled Hamas gunmen guarding the Hamas-led Interior Ministry.[102] In May 2007, new fighting broke out between the factions.[103] Interior Minister Hani Qawasmi, who had been considered a moderate civil servant acceptable to both factions, resigned due to what he termed harmful behavior by both sides.[104]

Fighting spread in the Gaza Strip, with both factions attacking vehicles and facilities of the other side. Following a breakdown in an Egyptian-brokered truce, Israel launched an air strike which destroyed a building used by Hamas. Ongoing violence prompted fear that it could bring the end of the Fatah-Hamas coalition government, and possibly the end of the Palestinian authority.[105] Hamas spokesman Moussa Abu Marzouk blamed the conflict between Hamas and Fatah on Israel, stating that the constant pressure of economic sanctions resulted in the "real explosion."[106] From 2006 to 2007 more than 600 Palestinians were killed in fighting between Hamas and Fatah.[107] 349 Palestinians were killed in fighting between factions in 2007. 160 Palestinians killed each other in June alone.[108]

2007: Hamas takeover

Gaza City in 2007

Following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, Hamas and Fatah formed the Palestinian authority national unity government headed by Ismail Haniya. Shortly after, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in the course of the Battle of Gaza (June 2007),[109] seizing government institutions and replacing Fatah and other government officials with its own.[110] By 14 June, Hamas fully controlled the Gaza Strip. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded by declaring a state of emergency, dissolving the unity government and forming a new government without Hamas participation. PNA security forces in the West Bank arrested a number of Hamas members.

In late June 2008, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan declared the West Bank-based cabinet formed by Abbas as "the sole legitimate Palestinian government". Egypt moved its embassy from Gaza to the West Bank.[111] Saudi Arabia and Egypt supported reconciliation and a new unity government and pressed Abbas to start talks with Hamas. Abbas had always conditioned this on Hamas returning control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority. After the takeover, Israel and Egypt closed their border crossings with Gaza. Palestinian sources reported that European Union monitors fled the Rafah Border Crossing, on the Gaza–Egypt border for fear of being kidnapped or harmed.[112] Arab foreign ministers and Palestinian officials presented a united front against control of the border by Hamas.[113] Meanwhile, Israeli and Egyptian security reports said that Hamas continued smuggling in large quantities of explosives and arms from Egypt through tunnels. Egyptian security forces uncovered 60 tunnels in 2007.[114]

Egyptian border barrier breach

A view of Gaza in January 2009

On 23 January 2008, after months of preparation during which the steel reinforcement of the border barrier was weakened,[115] Hamas destroyed several parts of the wall dividing Gaza and Egypt in the town of Rafah. Hundreds of thousands of Gazans crossed the border into Egypt seeking food and supplies. Due to the crisis, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered his troops to allow the Palestinians in but to verify that they did not bring weapons back across the border.[116] Egypt arrested and later released several armed Hamas militants in the Sinai who presumably wanted to infiltrate into Israel. At the same time, Israel increased its state of alert along the length of the Israel-Egypt Sinai border, and warned its citizens to leave Sinai "without delay."

In February 2008, 2008 Israel-Gaza conflict intensified, with rockets launched at Israeli cities. Aggression by Hamas led to Israeli military action on 1 March 2008, resulting in over 110 Palestinians being killed according to BBC News, as well as 2 Israeli soldiers. Israeli human rights group B'Tselem estimated that 45 of those killed were not involved in hostilities, and 15 were minors.[117]

2008–2009: Gaza War

Buildings damaged during the 2008-2009 Gaza war

On 27 December 2008,[118] Israeli F-16 fighters launched a series of air strikes against targets in Gaza following the breakdown of a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas.[119] Israel began a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip on 3 January 2009.[120] Various sites that Israel claimed were being used as weapons depots were struck from the air : police stations, schools, hospitals, UN warehouses, mosques, various Hamas government buildings and other buildings.[121]

Israel said that the attack was a response to Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israel, which totaled over 3,000 in 2008, and which intensified during the few weeks preceding the operation. Israel advised people near military targets to leave before the attacks. Israeli defense sources said that Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the IDF to prepare for the operation six months before it began, using long-term planning and intelligence-gathering.[122]

Gaza City in 2012

A total of 1,100–1,400[123] Palestinians (295–926 civilians) and 13 Israelis were killed in the 22-day war.[124] The conflict damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes,[125][126] 15 of Gaza's 27 hospitals and 43 of its 110 primary health care facilities,[127] 800 water wells,[128] 186 greenhouses,[129] and nearly all of its 10,000 family farms;[130] leaving 50,000 homeless,[131] 400,000–500,000 without running water,[131][132] one million without electricity,[132] and resulting in acute food shortages.[133] The people of Gaza still suffer from the loss of these facilities and homes, especially since they have great challenges to rebuild them.

2014: Gaza War

On 5 June 2014, Fatah signed a unity agreement with the Hamas political party.[134]

The 2014 Gaza War, also known as Operation Protective Edge, was a military operation launched by Israel on 8 July 2014 in the Gaza Strip. Following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank by Hamas-affiliated Palestinian militants, the IDF initiated Operation Brother's Keeper, in which some 350 Palestinians, including nearly all of the active Hamas militants in the West Bank, were arrested.[135][136][137] Hamas subsequently fired a greater number of rockets into Israel from Gaza, triggering a seven-week-long conflict between the two sides. It was one of the deadliest outbreaks of open conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in decades. The combination of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli airstrikes resulted in thousands of deaths, the vast majority of which were Gazan Palestinians.[138]

2018–2019: Great March of Return

UN OCHA map of the Great March of Return protests, 31 May 2018

In 2018–2019, a series of protests, also known as the Great March of Return, were held each Friday in the Gaza Strip near the Israel–Gaza barrier from 30 March 2018 until 27 December 2019, during which a total of 223 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces.[139][140] The demonstrators demanded that the Palestinian refugees must be allowed to return to lands they were displaced from in what is now Israel. They protested against Israel's land, air and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip and the United States recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.[141][142][143][144][145]

Most of the demonstrators demonstrated peacefully far from the border fence. Peter Cammack, a fellow with the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, argued that the march indicated a new trend in Palestinian society and Hamas, with a shift away from violence towards non-violent forms of protest.[146] Nevertheless, groups consisting mainly of young men approached the fence and committed acts of violence directed towards the Israeli border.[147][148][149][150][151] Israeli officials said the demonstrations were used by Hamas as cover for launching attacks against Israel.[152]

2018 Gaza border protests, Bureij refugee camp in Gaza

In late February 2019, a United Nations Human Rights Council's independent commission found that of the 489 cases of Palestinian deaths or injuries analyzed, only two were possibly justified as responses to danger by Israeli security forces. The commission deemed the rest of the cases illegal, and concluded with a recommendation calling on Israel to examine whether war crimes or crimes against humanity had been committed, and if so, to bring those responsible to trial.[153][154]

On 28 February 2019, the Commission said it had "'reasonable grounds' to believe Israeli soldiers may have committed war crimes and shot at journalists, health workers and children during protests in Gaza in 2018." Israel refused to take part in the inquiry and rejected the report.[155]

2021: Israel–Palestine crisis

Before the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, Gaza had 48% unemployment and half of the population lived in poverty. During the crisis, 66 children died (551 children in the previous conflict). On 13 June 2021, a high level World Bank delegation visited Gaza to witness the damage. Mobilization with UN and EU partners is ongoing to finalize a needs assessment in support of Gaza's reconstruction and recovery.[156]

Another escalation between 5 and 8 August 2022 resulted in property damage and displacement of people as a result of airstrikes.[157][158]

2023–2024: Israel–Hamas war

Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip on 31 October 2023

On 7 October 2023, Hamas launched an attack into southwest Israel, targeting Israeli communities and military bases, killing at least 1,300 people and taking at least 236 hostages.[159] On 9 October 2023, Israel declared war on Hamas and imposed a "total blockade" of the Gaza Strip,[160] with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declaring, "There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly."[161][162] As a result, Gaza is undergoing a severe humanitarian crisis.[163] By 13 November 2023, one out of every 200 people in Gaza were killed, becoming one out of every 100 by January 2024.[164][165]

As of 21 December 2023, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least 20,000 Palestinians, including over 8,000 children, have been killed.[166] More than 85% of Palestinians in Gaza, or around 1.9 million people, were internally displaced.[167] As of January 2024, Israel's offensive has either damaged or destroyed 70–80% of all buildings in northern Gaza.[168][169]

Geography

Palestinians on the Gaza beach in 2006
Gaza City in 2018

The Gaza Strip is 41 km (25 mi) long, from 6 to 12 km (3.7 to 7.5 mi) wide, and has a total area of 365 km2 (141 sq mi).[22][23] It has a 51 km (32 mi) border with Israel, and an 11 km (7 mi) border with Egypt, near the city of Rafah.[170]

Khan Yunis is located 7 km (4.3 mi) northeast of Rafah, and several towns around Deir el-Balah are located along the coast between it and Gaza City. Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun are located to the north and northeast of Gaza City, respectively. The Gush Katif bloc of Israeli settlements used to exist on the sand dunes adjacent to Rafah and Khan Yunis, along the southwestern edge of the 40 km (25 mi) Mediterranean coastline. Al Deira beach is a popular venue for surfers.[171]

The topography of the Gaza Strip is dominated by three ridges parallel to the coastline, which consist of Pleistocene-Holocene aged calcareous aeolian (wind deposited) sandstones, locally referred to as "kurkar", intercalated with red-coloured fine grained paleosols, referred to as "hamra". The three ridges are separated by wadis, which are filled with alluvial deposits.[172] The terrain is flat or rolling, with dunes near the coast. The highest point is Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda), at 105 m (344 ft) above sea level.

The major river in Gaza Strip is Wadi Gaza, around which the Wadi Gaza Nature Reserve was established, to protect the only coastal wetland in the Strip.[173][174]

Climate

The Gaza Strip has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh), with warm winters during which practically all the annual rainfall occurs, and dry, hot summers. Despite the dryness, humidity is high throughout the year. Annual rainfall is higher than in any part of Egypt at between 225 mm (9 in) in the south and 400 mm (16 in) in the north, but almost all of this falls between November and February. Environmental problems include desertification; salination of fresh water; sewage treatment; water-borne diseases; soil degradation; and depletion and contamination of underground water resources.

Governance

Hamas government

Damaged UN school and remmants of the Ministry of Interior in Gaza City, December 2012

Since its takeover of Gaza, Hamas has exercised executive authority over the Gaza Strip, and it governs the territory through its own ad hoc executive, legislative, and judicial bodies.[175] The Hamas government of 2012 was the second Palestinian Hamas-dominated government, ruling over the Gaza Strip, since the split of the Palestinian National Authority in 2007. It was announced in early September 2012.[176] The reshuffle of the previous government was approved by Gaza-based Hamas MPs from the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) or parliament.[176] Since the Hamas takeover in 2007, the Gaza Strip has been described as a "de facto one-party state", although it tolerates other political groups, including leftist ones such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).[177][178][179][180]

The legal code Hamas applies in Gaza is based on Ottoman laws, the British Mandate's 1936 legal code, Palestinian Authority law, Sharia law, and Israeli military orders. Hamas maintains a judicial system with civilian and military courts and a public prosecution service.[175][181]

Security

The Gaza Strip's security is mainly handled by Hamas through its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, internal security service, and civil police force. The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades have an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 operatives.[182]

Other groups and ideologies

A rally in support of Fatah in Gaza City in January 2013

Other Palestinian militant factions operate in the Gaza Strip alongside, and sometimes opposed to Hamas. The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, also known as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is the second largest militant faction operating in the Gaza Strip. Its military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, has an estimated 8,000 fighters.[183][184][185][186]

In June 2013, the Islamic Jihad broke ties with Hamas leaders after Hamas police fatally shot the commander of Islamic Jihad's military wing.[184] The third largest faction is the Popular Resistance Committees. Its military wing is known as the Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades.

Other factions include the Army of Islam (an Islamist faction of the Doghmush clan), the Nidal Al-Amoudi Battalion (an offshoot of the West Bank-based Fatah-linked al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades), the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades (armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade (ISIL offshoot), Humat al-Aqsa, Jaysh al-Ummah, Katibat al-Sheikh al-Emireen, the Mujahideen Brigades, and the Abdul al-Qadir al-Husseini Brigades.[187]

Some Salafi-Jihadis operating in the Gaza Strip have been using as part of their name the term ʻArḍ al-Ribat "Land of the Ribat", as a name for Palestine, literally meaning "the land of standing vigilant watch on the frontier", but understood in the context of global jihad, which is fundamentally opposed to local, Palestinian nationalism.[188]

Administrative divisions

The enclave is divided into five governorates: North Gaza Governorate, Gaza Governorate, Deir al-Balah Governorate, Khan Yunis Governorate and Rafah Governorate

Status

Due to both the Israeli blockade and Hamas's authoritarian policies and actions, U.S. political organization Freedom House ranks Gaza as "not free".[175]

Legality of Hamas rule

After Hamas' June 2007 takeover, it ousted Fatah-linked officials from positions of power and authority (such as government positions, security services, universities, newspapers, etc.) and strove to enforce law by progressively removing guns from the hands of peripheral militias, clans, and criminal groups, and gaining control of supply tunnels. According to Amnesty International, under Hamas rule, newspapers were closed down and journalists were harassed.[189] Fatah demonstrations were forbidden or suppressed, as in the case of a large demonstration on the anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death, which resulted in the deaths of seven people, after protesters hurled stones at Hamas security forces.[190]

Hamas and other militant groups continued to fire Qassam rockets across the border into Israel. According to Israel, between the Hamas takeover and the end of January 2008, 697 rockets and 822 mortar bombs were fired at Israeli towns.[191] In response, Israel targeted Qassam launchers and military targets and declared the Gaza Strip a hostile entity. In January 2008, Israel curtailed travel from Gaza, the entry of goods, and cut fuel supplies, resulting in power shortages. This brought charges that Israel was inflicting collective punishment on the Gaza population, leading to international condemnation. Despite multiple reports from within the Strip that food and other essentials were in short supply,[192] Israel said that Gaza had enough food and energy supplies for weeks.[193]

The Israeli government uses economic means to pressure Hamas. Among other things, it caused Israeli commercial enterprises like banks and fuel companies to stop doing business with the Gaza Strip. The role of private corporations in the relationship between Israel and the Gaza Strip is an issue that has not been extensively studied.[194]

Due to continued rocket attacks including 50 in one day, in March 2008, air strikes and ground incursions by the IDF led to the deaths of over 110 Palestinians and extensive damage to Jabalia.[195]

A watchtower on the border between Rafah and Egypt

Israeli occupation

The international community regards all of the Palestinian territories including Gaza as occupied.[196] Human Rights Watch has declared at the UN Human Rights Council that it views Israel as a de facto occupying power in the Gaza Strip, even though Israel has no military or other presence, because the Oslo Accords authorize Israel to control the airspace and the territorial sea.[88][89][90]

In his statement on the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur wrote that international humanitarian law applied to Israel "in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war."[197] Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, Oxfam, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations, the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, international human rights organizations, US government websites, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a significant number of legal commentators (Geoffrey Aronson, Meron Benvenisti, Claude Bruderlein, Sari Bashi, Kenneth Mann, Shane Darcy, John Reynolds, Yoram Dinstein, John Dugard, Marc S. Kaliser, Mustafa Mari, and Iain Scobbie) maintain that Israel's extensive direct external control over Gaza, and indirect control over the lives of its internal population mean that Gaza remained occupied.[198][199][200] In spite of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, the Hamas government in Gaza considers Gaza as occupied territory.[201]

Israel states that it does not exercise effective control or authority over any land or institutions in the Gaza Strip and thus the Gaza Strip is no longer subject to the former military occupation.[202][203] Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni stated in January 2008: "Israel got out of Gaza. It dismantled its settlements there. No Israeli soldiers were left there after the disengagement."[204] On 30 January 2008, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that the Gaza Strip was not occupied by Israel in a decision on a petition against Israeli restrictions against the Gaza Strip which argued that it remained occupied. The Supreme Court ruled that Israel has not exercised effective control over the Gaza Strip since 2005, and accordingly, it was no longer occupied.[205]

In a legal analysis Hanne Cuyckens agrees with the Israeli position that Gaza is no longer occupied - "Gaza is not technically occupied, given that there is no longer any effective control in the sense of Article 42 of the Hague Regulations. ... Even though the majority argues that the Gaza Strip is still occupied, the effective control test at the core of the law of occupation is no longer met and hence Gaza is no longer occupied." She disagrees that Israel cannot therefore be held responsible for the situation in Gaza because: "Nonetheless, Israel continues to exercise an important level of control over the Gaza Strip and its population, making it difficult to accept that it would no longer have any obligations with regard to the Strip. ... the absence of occupation does not mean the absence of accountability. This responsibility is however not founded on the law of occupation but on general international humanitarian law, potentially complemented by international human rights law".[206] Yuval Shany also argues that Israel is probably not an occupying power in Gaza under international law, writing that "it is difficult to continue and regard Israel as the occupying power in Gaza under the traditional law of occupation".[207]

Gaza Strip with Israeli-controlled borders and limited fishing zone, as of December 2012

Avi Bell argues that the Gaza Strip is not occupied as the Israeli blockade does not constitute effective control, citing several international legal precedents that the occupier must be in direct control with forces on the ground and have direct control over the civilian population superior to that of the established government. He argues that Israeli control over Gaza does not meet these standards.[208] Likewise, Alex Stein claimed in 2014 that Israel did not occupy Gaza and its only obligation was to minimize harm to the civilian population during military operations.[209]

Characterization as open-air prison

Several rights groups have characterized the situation in Gaza as an "open-air prison",[210][19] including the United Nations,[211] Human Rights Watch,[212] and the Norwegian Refugee Council.[213] This characterization was often cited by a number of human rights activists, politicians, and media news outlets reporting on the Gaza-Israel conflict and the wider Palestinian-Israeli conflict.[214][215][216][217][218][219] Former British Prime Minister David Cameron,[220] US Senator Bernie Sanders,[221] former Israeli diplomat Gideon Levy,[222] and Israeli historian Ilan Pappe have endorsed this characterization as well.[223]

In 2022, Human Rights Watch issued a report on the situation in the Gaza Strip, which it called an "open-air prison" due to the blockade and held Israel responsible as the occupying power, and to a lesser degree Egypt, which has restricted movement of Palestinians through its border.[212] The report highlighted how this blockade has led to humanitarian crises, namely shortages of essential supplies, limited access to healthcare, and high levels of poverty and unemployment among the Palestinian population in Gaza.[212] It claimed that Israel has formed a formal policy of separation between Gaza and the West Bank, despite both forming parts of the Palestinian territories.[212] The Israeli blockade on Gaza has restricted the freedom of movement of Gaza Palestinians to both the West Bank and the outside world; in particular, Palestinian professionals were most impacted by these restrictions, as applying for travel permit takes several weeks.[212]

The Norwegian Refugee Council report issued in 2018 called the territory "the world's largest open-air prison", highlighting in it several figures, including lack of access to clean water, to reliable electrical supply, to health care, food and employment opportunities.[213] It lamented the fact that a majority of Palestinian children in Gaza suffer from psychological trauma, and a portion of which suffer from stunted growth.[213]

Statehood

Some Israeli analysts have argued that the Gaza Strip can be considered a de facto state, even if not internationally recognized as such. Israeli Major General Giora Eiland, who headed Israel's National Security Council, has argued that after the disengagement and Hamas takeover, the Gaza Strip became a de facto state for all intents and purposes, writing that "It has clear borders, an effective government, an independent foreign policy and an army. These are the exact characteristics of a state."[224]

Yagil Levy, a professor of Political Sociology and Public Policy at the Open University of Israel, wrote in a Haaretz column that "Gaza is a state in every respect, at least as social scientists understand the term. It has a central government with an army that's subordinate to it and that protects a population living in a defined territory. Nevertheless, Gaza is a castrated state. Israel and Egypt control its borders. The Palestinian Authority pays for the salaries of some of its civil servants. And the army doesn't have a monopoly on armed force, because there are independent militias operating alongside it."[225]

Moshe Arens, a former Israeli diplomat who served as Foreign Minister and Defense Minister, likewise wrote that Gaza is a state as "it has a government, an army, a police force and courts that dispense justice of sorts."[226] In November 2018, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked asserted that Gaza is an independent state, stating that Palestinians "already have a state" in Gaza.[227]

Geoffrey Aronson has likewise argued that the Gaza Strip can be considered a proto-state with some aspects of sovereignty, writing that "a proto-state already exists in the Gaza Strip, with objective attributes of sovereignty the Ramallah-based Mahmoud Abbas can only dream about. Gaza is a single, contiguous territory with de facto borders, recognised, if not always respected, by friend and foe alike. There are no permanently stationed foreign occupiers and, most importantly, no civilian Israeli settlements."[228] Writing in Newsweek, journalist Marc Schulman referred to Gaza as "an impoverished proto-state that lives off aid."[229]

Control over airspace

Beit Hanoun region of Gaza in August 2014, after Israeli bombardments

As agreed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the Oslo Accords, Israel has exclusive control over the airspace. Contrarily to the Oslo Accords, however, Israel interferes with Gaza's radio and TV transmissions, and Israel prevents the Palestinians from operating a seaport or airport.[230] The Accords permitted Palestinians to construct an airport, which was duly built and opened in 1998. Israel destroyed Gaza's only airport in 2001 and again in 2002, during the Second Intifada.[231][232]

The Israeli army makes use of drones, which can launch precise missiles. They are equipped with high-resolution cameras and other sensors. The missile fired from a drone has its own cameras that allow the operator to observe the target from the moment of firing. After a missile has been launched, the drone operator can remotely divert it elsewhere. Drone operators can view objects on the ground in detail during both day and night.[233] Israeli drones routinely patrol over Gaza, and engage in missile strikes which reportedly kill more civilians than militants; the drones also produce a buzzing noise audible from the ground which Palestinians in Gaza refer to as zanana.[234][235]: 6 

Buffer zone

Part of the territory is depopulated because of the imposition of buffer zones on both the Israeli and Egyptian borders.[236][237][238]

Initially, Israel imposed a 50-meter buffer zone in Gaza.[239] In 2000, it was expanded to 150 meters.[237] Following the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza, an undefined buffer zone was maintained, including a no-fishing zone along the coast. The ultimate effect of the enforcement of the no-fishing zone was that the fishing industry in Gaza "virtually ceased."[240]

In 2009/2010, Israel expanded the buffer zone to 300 meters.[241][239][242] The Israeli military stated that this buffer zone extended to 300 meters from the security fence, although UN bodies and other organizations operating in the region reported that the area extended at least a kilometer from the security fence before 2012. The buffer zone before the implementation of the ceasefire that followed the 2012 clashed accounted to 14% of the whole territory of the Strip and contained 30-55% of its total arable land. A 2012 UN report estimated that 75,000 metric tons of potential produce were lost per year as a result of the buffer zone, amounting to US$50.2 million per year.[243] The IDMC estimated in 2014 that 12% of the population of Gaza was directly affected by the land and sea restrictions due to the buffer zone.[244] [236][239]

On 25 February 2013, pursuant to a November 2012 ceasefire, Israel declared a buffer zone of 100 meters on land and 6 nautical miles offshore. In the following month, the zone was changed to 300 meters and 3 nautical miles. The 1994 Gaza Jericho Agreement allows 20 nautical miles, and the 2002 Bertini Commitment allows 12 nautical miles.[241][237]

In August 2015, the IDF confirmed a buffer zone of 300 meters for residents and 100 meters for farmers, but without explaining how to distinguish between the two.[245] As of 2015, on a third of Gaza's agricultural land, residents risk Israeli attacks. According to PCHR, Israeli attacks take place up to approximately 1.5 km (0.9 mi) from the border, making 17% of Gaza's total territory a risk zone.[237]

Israel says the buffer zone is needed to protect Israeli communities just over the border from sniper fire and rocket attacks. In the 18 months until November 2010, one Thai farm worker in Israel was killed by a rocket fired from Gaza. In 2010, according to IDF figures, 180 rockets and mortars had been fired into Israel by militants. In 6 months, 11 Palestinians civilians, including four children, had been killed by Israeli fire and at least 70 Palestinian civilians were injured in the same period, including at least 49 who were working collecting rubble and scrap metal.[236]

A buffer zone was also created on the Egyptian side of the Gaza–Egypt border. In 2014, scores of homes in Rafah were destroyed for the buffer zone.[246] According to Amnesty International, more than 800 homes were destroyed and more than 1,000 families evicted.[247] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed with the destruction of smuggling tunnels by flooding them, and then punishing the owners of the houses that contained entrances to the tunnels, including demolishing their houses, arguing that the tunnels had produced 1,800 millionaires, and were used for smuggling weapons, drugs, cash, and equipment for forging documents.[247]

Gaza blockade

Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade of the Gaza Strip in response to security concerns, such as the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. Israel has also stated that the blockade serves as "economic warfare".[31] The Israeli human rights organization Gisha reports that the blockade undermines basic living conditions and human rights in Gaza.[248] The Red Cross has reported that the blockade harms the economy and causes a shortage of basic medicines and equipment such as painkillers and x-ray film.[249]

Israel describes the blockade as necessary to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. Israel maintains that the blockade is legal and necessary to limit Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on its cities and to prevent Hamas from obtaining other weapons,[250][251][252] although the legality of the blockade has been challenged by multiple human rights organizations.[253][254]

According to director of the Shin Bet, Hamas and Islamic Jihad had smuggled in over "5,000 rockets with ranges up to 40 km (25 mi)." Some of the rockets could reach as far as the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area.[255]

Tent camp, April 2009, after Operation Cast Lead

Facing mounting international pressure, Egypt lessened the restrictions starting in June 2010, when the Rafah border crossing from Egypt to Gaza was partially opened by Egypt. Egypt's foreign ministry said that the crossing would remain open mainly for people, but not for supplies.[256]

Israel also eased restrictions in June 2010 as a result of international pressure following the Gaza flotilla raid after which food shortages decreased.[257] The World Bank reported in 2012 that access to Gaza remained highly restricted and exports to the West Bank and Israel from Gaza are prohibited.[258] This ban on exports was not lifted until 2014.[259]

In January and February 2011, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) assessed measures taken to ease the blockade[260] and concluded that they were helpful but not sufficient to improve the lives of the local inhabitants.[260] UNOCHA called on Israel to reduce restrictions on exports and the import of construction materials, and to lift the general ban on movement between Gaza and the West Bank via Israel.[260] According to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the blockade resulted in a loss of over $17 million in exports in 2006 from 2005 (roughly 3% of all Palestinian exports).[261] After Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned on 28 May 2011, Egypt permanently opened its border with Gaza to students, medical patients, and foreign passport holders.[260][262] Following the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, Egypt's military has destroyed most of the 1,200 tunnels which are used for smuggling food, weapons, and other goods to Gaza.[263] After the August 2013 Rabaa Massacre in Egypt, the border crossing was closed 'indefinitely.'[264]

While the import of food is restricted through the Gaza blockade, the Israeli military destroys agricultural crops by spraying toxic chemicals over the Gazan lands, using aircraft flying over the border zone. According to the IDF, the spraying is intended "to prevent the concealment of IED's [Improvised Explosive Devices], and to disrupt and prevent the use of the area for destructive purposes."[265] Gaza's agricultural research and development station was destroyed in 2014 and again in January 2016, while import of new equipment is obstructed.[266]

Movement of people

Rafah Border Crossing in 2012

Because of the Israeli–Egyptian blockade, the population is not free to leave or enter the Gaza Strip. Only in exceptional cases are people allowed to pass through the Erez Crossing or the Rafah Border Crossing.[241][267][268][269] In 2015, a Gazan woman was not allowed to travel through Israel to Jordan on her way to her own wedding. The Israeli authorities found she did not meet the criteria for travel, namely only in exceptional humanitarian cases.[270]

Under the long-term blockade, the Gaza Strip is often described as a "prison-camp or open air prison for its collective denizens". The comparison is done by observers, ranging from Roger Cohen and Lawrence Weschler to NGOs, such as B'tselem, and politicians and diplomats, such as David Cameron, Noam Chomsky, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, David Shoebridge and Sir John Holmes.[271][272][273][274][275][276][277][278] In 2014 French President François Hollande called for the demilitarization of Gaza and a lifting of the blockade, saying "Gaza must neither be an open prison nor a military base."[279]

An anonymous Israeli analyst has called it "Israel's Alcatraz".[280] While Lauren Booth,[281][282] Philip Slater,[283] Giorgio Agamben[284] compare it to a "concentration camp". For Robert S. Wistrich,[285] and Philip Mendes,[286] such analogies are designed to offend Jews, while Philip Seib dismisses the comparison as absurd, and claims that it arises from sources like Al Jazeera and statements by Arab leaders.[287]

Israel restricts movement of Palestinian residents between the West Bank and Gaza. Israel has implemented a policy of allowing Palestinian movement from the West Bank to Gaza, but making it quite difficult for Gaza residents to move to the West Bank. Israel typically refuses to allow Gaza residents to leave for the West Bank, even when the Gaza resident is originally a West Bank resident. The Israeli human-rights organization Gisha has helped Gaza residents who had moved from the West Bank to Gaza return to the West Bank arguing that extremely pressing personal circumstances provide humanitarian grounds for relief.[288]

Economy

Backyard industry

The economy of the Gaza Strip is severely hampered by Egypt and Israel's almost total blockade, and has one of the world's highest population densities,[25][26] limited land access, strict internal and external security controls, the effects of Israeli military operations, and restrictions on labor and trade access across the border. A 2015 UN report estimated that 72% of the population suffers from food insecurity.[289] Per capita income (PPP) was estimated at US$3,100 in 2009, a position of 164th in the world.[290] A UN report in 2022 estimated Gaza Strip's unemployment rate to be 45% and 65% of the population under poverty, living standards went down by 27% compared to 2006 and 80% of the population depends on international aid for survival.[291] Gaza Strip industries are generally small family businesses that produce textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs.

The main agricultural products are olives, citrus, vegetables, Halal beef, and dairy products. Primary exports are citrus and cut flowers, while primary imports are food, consumer goods, and construction materials. The main trade partners of the Gaza Strip are Israel and Egypt.[290]

The EU described the Gaza economy in 2013 as follows: "Since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007 and following the closure imposed by Israel, the situation in the Strip has been one of chronic need, de-development and donor dependency, despite a temporary relaxation on restrictions in movement of people and goods following a flotilla raid in 2010. The closure has effectively cut off access for exports to traditional markets in Israel, transfers to the West Bank and has severely restricted imports. Exports are now down to 2% of 2007 levels."[94]

According to Sara Roy, one senior IDF officer told an UNWRA official in 2015 that Israel's policy towards the Gaza Strip consisted of: "No development, no prosperity, no humanitarian crisis."[292]

Natural resources

Natural resources of Gaza include arable land—about a third of the Strip is irrigated. Recently, natural gas was discovered. The Gaza Strip is largely dependent on water from Wadi Gaza, which also supplies Israel.[293] Most of water comes from groundwater wells (90% in 2021). Its quality is low and most of it is unfit for human consumption. The remainder is produced by water desalination plants or bought from Israel's Mekorot (6% of all water in 2021).[294] According to Human Rights Watch, international humanitarian law requires Israel, as the occupying power in Gaza, to ensure that the basic needs of the civilian population are provided for.[295]

Gaza's marine gas reserves extend 32 kilometres from the Gaza Strip's coastline[296] and were calculated at 35 BCM.[297]

Demographics

Palestinian girls in Jabalia

In 2010, approximately 1.6 million people lived in the Gaza Strip,[290] almost 1.0 million of them were UN-registered refugees.[298] The majority descend from refugees who were driven from or left their homes during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The Strip's population has continued to increase since that time, mainly due to a total fertility rate which peaked at 8.3 children per woman in 1991. This fell to 4.4 children per woman in 2013 which was still among the highest worldwide.[290][299]

In a ranking by total fertility rate, this places Gaza 34th of 224 regions.[290][299] This leads to the Gaza Strip having an unusually high proportion of children in the population, with 43.5% of the population being 14 or younger and a median age in 2014 of 18, compared to a world average of 28, and 30 in Israel. The only countries with a lower median age are countries in Africa such as Uganda where it was 15.[299]

Sunni Muslims make up 99.8 percent of the population in the Gaza Strip, with an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 (0.2 percent) Arab Christians.[300][290]

Religion

View of the Great Mosque of Gaza, the oldest mosque in Gaza dating to the 7th century CE, which was destroyed by Israeli airstrikes during the 2023 Hamas–Israel war
Gaza Strip Religions (2012 est.)[301]
Islam
98%
Christianity
1%
Other
1%

From 1987 to 1991, during the First Intifada, Hamas campaigned for the wearing of the hijab head-cover. In the course of this campaign, women who chose not to wear the hijab were verbally and physically harassed by Hamas activists, leading to hijabs being worn "just to avoid problems on the streets".[302]

Since Hamas took over in 2007, attempts have been made by Islamist activists to impose "Islamic dress" and to require women to wear the hijab.[303][304] The government's "Islamic Endowment Ministry" has deployed Virtue Committee members to warn citizens of the "dangers of immodest dress, card playing and dating".[305] However, there are no government laws imposing dress and other moral standards, and the Hamas education ministry reversed one effort to impose Islamic dress on students.[303] There has also been successful resistance[by whom?] to attempts by local Hamas officials to impose Islamic dress on women.[306]

According to Human Rights Watch, the Hamas-controlled government stepped up its efforts to "Islamize" Gaza in 2010, efforts it says included the "repression of civil society" and "severe violations of personal freedom."[307]

Palestinian researcher Khaled Al-Hroub has criticized what he called the "Taliban-like steps" Hamas has taken: "The Islamization that has been forced upon the Gaza Strip—the suppression of social, cultural, and press freedoms that do not suit Hamas's view[s]—is an egregious deed that must be opposed. It is the reenactment, under a religious guise, of the experience of [other] totalitarian regimes and dictatorships."[308] Hamas officials denied having any plans to impose Islamic law. One legislator stated that "[w]hat you are seeing are incidents, not policy" and that "we believe in persuasion".[305]

Violence against Christians has been recorded. The owner of a Christian bookshop was abducted and murdered[309] and in February 2008, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) library in Gaza City was bombed.[310] At least eighteen people were killed when Israel bombed the Church of Saint Porphyrius, which is the oldest in Gaza, on 19 October 2023.[311]

In addition to Hamas, a Salafist movement began to appear about 2005 in Gaza, characterized by "a strict lifestyle based on that of the earliest followers of Islam".[312] As of 2015, there are estimated to be only "hundreds or perhaps a few thousand" Salafists in Gaza.[312]

Education

Schoolgirls in Gaza City lining up for class, 2009
University College of Applied Sciences, the largest college in Gaza

In 2010, illiteracy among Gazan youth was less than 1%. According to UNRWA figures, there are 640 schools in Gaza: 383 government schools, 221 UNRWA schools and 36 private schools, serving a total of 441,452 students.[313]

In 2010, Al Zahara, a private school in central Gaza introduced a special program for mental development based on math computations. The program was created in Malaysia in 1993, according to the school principal, Majed al-Bari.[314]

In June 2011, some Gazans, upset that UNRWA did not rebuild their homes that were lost in the Second Intifada, blocked UNRWA from performing its services and shut down UNRWA's summer camps. Gaza residents closed UNRWA's emergency department, social services office and ration stores.[315]

In 2012, there were five universities in the Gaza Strip and eight new schools were under construction.[316] By 2018, nine universities were open.

The Community College of Applied Science and Technology (CCAST) was established in 1998 in Gaza City. In 2003, the college moved into its new campus and established the Gaza Polytechnic Institute (GPI) in 2006 in southern Gaza. In 2007, the college received accreditation to award BA degrees as the University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS). In 2010, the college had a student population of 6,000, in eight departments offering over 40 majors.[317]

Health

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital and the IUG Faculty of Medicine buildings

In Gaza, there are hospitals and additional healthcare facilities. Because of the high number of young people the mortality rate is one of the lowest in the world, at 0.315% per year.[318] The infant mortality rate is ranked 105th highest out of 224 countries and territories, at 16.55 deaths per 1,000 births.[319] The Gaza Strip places 24th out of 135 countries according to Human Poverty Index.

A study carried out by Johns Hopkins University (U.S.) and Al-Quds University (in Abu Dis) for CARE International in late 2002 revealed very high levels of dietary deficiency among the Palestinian population. The study found that 17.5% of children aged 6–59 months suffered from chronic malnutrition. 53% of women of reproductive age and 44% of children were found to be anemic. Insecurity in obtaining sufficient food as of 2016 affects roughly 70% of Gaza households, as the number of people requiring assistance from UN agencies has risen from 72,000 in 2000, to 800,000 in 2014.[320]

After the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip health conditions in Gaza Strip faced new challenges. World Health Organization (WHO) expressed its concerns about the consequences of the Palestinian internal political fragmentation; the socioeconomic decline; military actions; and the physical, psychological and economic isolation on the health of the population in Gaza.[321] In a 2012 study of the occupied territories, the WHO reported that roughly 50% of the young children and infants under two years old and 39.1% of pregnant women receiving antenatal services care in Gaza suffer from iron-deficiency anemia. The organization also observed chronic malnutrition in children under five "is not improving and may be deteriorating."[322]

According to Palestinian leaders in the Gaza Strip, the majority of medical aid delivered are "past their expiration date." Mounir el-Barash, the director of donations in Gaza's health department, claims 30% of aid sent to Gaza is used.[323][failed verification]

Gazans who desire medical care in Israeli hospitals must apply for a medical visa permit. In 2007, State of Israel granted 7,176 permits and denied 1,627.[324][325]

In 2012, two hospitals funded by Turkey and Saudi Arabia were under construction.[326]

Culture and sports

Gaza amusement park
Gaza Summer Games 2010, a children's event organized by the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees UNRWA

Fine arts

The Gaza Strip has been home to a significant branch of the contemporary Palestinian art movement since the mid-20th century. Notable artists include painters Ismail Ashour, Shafiq Redwan, Bashir Senwar, Majed Shalla, Fayez Sersawi, Abdul Rahman al Muzayan and Ismail Shammout, and media artists Taysir Batniji (who lives in France) and Laila al Shawa (who lives in London). An emerging generation of artists is also active in nonprofit art organizations such as Windows From Gaza and Eltiqa Group, which regularly host exhibitions and events open to the public.[327]

Hikaye

Hikaye is an important aspect of Palestinian women's oral culture and was inscribed by UNESCO to its list of intangible cultural heritage in 2008.[328] In 1989 some written version of these stories were recorded from Gaza and published alongside many others, in the volume Speak Bird, Speak Again.[329]

Archaeology

The Gaza Museum of Archaeology was established by Jawdat N. Khoudary in 2008.[330] The Al Qarara Cultural Museum in Khan Yunis was destroyed in an explosion as a result of an Israeli attack in October 2023.[331][332]

Athletics

In 2010, Gaza inaugurated its first Olympic-size swimming pool at the As-Sadaka club. The opening ceremony was held by the Islamic Society.[333] The swimming team of as-Sadaka holds several gold and silver medals from Palestinian swimming competitions.[334]

Transport

A damaged part of the Yasser Arafat International Airport, 2002

From 1920 to 1948, the Gaza Strip hosted sections of the Palestine Railways, connecting the region with Egypt.

Due to the on-going blockade of Gaza, any external travel from Gaza requires cooperation from either Egypt or Israel.

Salah al-Din Road, also known as the Salah ad-Deen Highway, is the main highway of the Gaza Strip. It extends over 45 km (28 mi), spanning the entire length of the territory from the Rafah Crossing in the south to the Erez Crossing in the north.[335] The road is named after the 12th-century Ayyubid general Salah al-Din.[84]

The Port of Gaza has been an important and active port since antiquity. Despite plans under the Oslo Peace Accords to expand the port, it has been under a blockade since Hamas was elected as a majority party in the 2006 elections. Both the Israeli Navy and Egypt enforce the blockade, which limits many aspects of life in Gaza. According to Human Rights Watch, it particularly limits the movement of people and commerce, with exports being most affected. The improvement and rebuilding of infrastructure is also negatively impacted by these sanctions.[336] Plans to expand the port were halted after the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada.

The Yasser Arafat International Airport opened in November 1998 after the signing of the Oslo II Accord and the Wye River Memorandum. It was forced to close after Israel deconstruction in October 2000. Its radar station and control tower were destroyed by Israel Defense Forces aircraft in 2001 during the al-Aqsa Intifada. Bulldozers razed the runway in January 2002.[231][232] The only remaining runway in the Strip, at the Gush Katif Airport, fell into disuse following Israeli disengagement. The airspace over Gaza may be restricted by the Israeli Air Force as the Oslo Accords authorized.

Land border crossings

There are just a few land border crossings between the Strip on one side, and Israel and Egypt on the other, of which not all are open as of 2023. Land border crossings with Israel include: Kerem Shalom Crossing, Erez Crossing or Beit Hanoun Crossing, and the Nitzana Border Crossing.[337] While the land border crossings with Egypt include: Rafah Crossing, and the Salah al-Din Gate.[337][338]

Television and radio

In 2004, most Gaza households had a radio and a TV (70%+), and approximately 20% had a personal computer. People living in Gaza have access to FTA satellite programs, broadcast TV from the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, the Israel Broadcasting Authority, and the Second Israeli Broadcasting Authority.[339]

Archaeological sites and historical buildings

Archaeology collections

  • Al Mat'haf Museum in Al Mat'haf Hotel. Bronze Age to 20th-century artifacts.

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ "Mideast accord: the overview; Rabin and Arafat sign accord ending Israel's 27-year hold on Jericho and the Gaza Strip" Archived 9 December 2020 at the Wayback Machine. Chris Hedges, New York Times, 5 May 1994.
  2. ^ Sanger, Andrew (2011). "The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla". In M.N. Schmitt; Louise Arimatsu; Tim McCormack (eds.). Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law - 2010. Vol. 13. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 429. doi:10.1007/978-90-6704-811-8_14. ISBN 978-90-6704-811-8. Israel claims it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip, maintaining that it is neither a State nor a territory occupied or controlled by Israel, but rather it has 'sui generis' status. Pursuant to the Disengagement Plan, Israel dismantled all military institutions and settlements in Gaza and there is no longer a permanent Israeli military or civilian presence in the territory. However, the Plan also provided that Israel will guard and monitor the external land perimeter of the Gaza Strip, will continue to maintain exclusive authority in Gaza air space, and will continue to exercise security activity in the sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip as well as maintaining an Israeli military presence on the Egyptian-Gaza border, and reserving the right to reenter Gaza at will. Israel continues to control six of Gaza's seven land crossings, its maritime borders and airspace and the movement of goods and persons in and out of the territory. Egypt controls one of Gaza's land crossings. Gaza is also dependent on Israel for water, electricity, telecommunications and other utilities, currency, issuing IDs, and permits to enter and leave the territory. Israel also has sole control of the Palestinian Population Registry through which the Israeli Army regulates who is classified as a Palestinian and who is a Gazan or West Banker. Since 2000 aside from a limited number of exceptions Israel has refused to add people to the Palestinian Population Registry. It is this direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza that has led the United Nations, the UN General Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, International human rights organisations, US Government websites, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a significant number of legal commentators, to reject the argument that Gaza is no longer occupied.
    * Scobbie, Iain (2012). Elizabeth Wilmshurst (ed.). International Law and the Classification of Conflicts. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 978-0-19-965775-9. Even after the accession to power of Hamas, Israel's claim that it no longer occupies Gaza has not been accepted by UN bodies, most States, nor the majority of academic commentators because of its exclusive control of its border with Gaza and crossing points including the effective control it exerted over the Rafah crossing until at least May 2011, its control of Gaza's maritime zones and airspace which constitute what Aronson terms the 'security envelope' around Gaza, as well as its ability to intervene forcibly at will in Gaza.
    * Gawerc, Michelle (2012). Prefiguring Peace: Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding Partnerships. Lexington Books. p. 44. ISBN 9780739166109. While Israel withdrew from the immediate territory, it remained in control of all access to and from Gaza through the border crossings, as well as through the coastline and the airspace. In addition, Gaza was dependent upon Israel for water, electricity sewage communication networks and for its trade (Gisha 2007. Dowty 2008). In other words, while Israel maintained that its occupation of Gaza ended with its unilateral disengagement Palestinians – as well as many human rights organizations and international bodies – argued that Gaza was by all intents and purposes still occupied.
  3. ^ Cuyckens, Hanne (2016). "Is Israel Still an Occupying Power in Gaza?". Netherlands International Law Review. 63 (3): 275–295. doi:10.1007/s40802-016-0070-1. ISSN 0165-070X.
  4. ^ "ActionAid: Conditions in Rafah at breaking point, with over one million displaced people". wafa agency.
  5. ^ "مليونان و375 ألف نسمة عدد سكان قطاع غزة مع نهاية 2022". arabic.news.cn. Archived from the original on 5 January 2023. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  6. ^ Chami, Ralph; Espinoza, Raphael; Montiel, Peter J. (26 January 2021). Macroeconomic Policy in Fragile States. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-885309-1. Archived from the original on 11 April 2023. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  7. ^ The New Oxford Dictionary of English. 1998. p. 761. ISBN 0-19-861263-X. "Gaza Strip /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the control of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, on the SE Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza...".
  8. ^ a b "Gaza Strip | Definition, History, Facts, & Map | Britannica". www.britannica.com. 22 November 2023. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  9. ^ a b Samson, Elizabeth (2010). "Is Gaza Occupied: Redefining the Status of Gaza under International Law". American University International Law Review. 25: 915.
  10. ^ Joshua Castellino, Kathleen A. Cavanaugh, Minority Rights in the Middle East, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Oxford University Press 2013 p.150:'Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza constitute a majority (demographically) with representation by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), a self-governing body run by Fatah in the West Bank, and by Hamas in the Gaza Strip'.
  11. ^ Tristan Dunning, Hamas, Jihad and Popular Legitimacy: Reinterpreting Resistance in Palestine, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Routledge, 2016 p.212:'Since taking sole control of Gaza in June 2007, Hamas has proven itself to be a remarkably resilient and resourceful government entity. The movement has clearly entrenched itself as the hegemonic power in the coastal enclave to such an extent that the International Crisis Group contends that the power struggle in Gaza is no longer between Hamas and Fatah. Rather the main source of confrontation is between Hamas and other more hardline Islamists and salafists. . . Hamas has been far more successful in an administrative sense than the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, despite having access to only a fraction of the resources.'
  12. ^ David Rose, 'The Gaza Bombshell,' Archived 28 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine Vanity Fair April, 2008. 'The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America's behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. . But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S.-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.'
  13. ^ Sara Roy, Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza, p.45 Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine. 'Dahlan, who was supported by U.S. officials, has been a bitter enemy of Hamas since his 1996 crackdown on the movement. He consistently refused to accept the Palestinian unity government brokered by the Saudi government in the Mecca Agreement "and made his opposition intolerable to Hamas when he refused to subject the security forces under his command, armed and trained by the U.S., to the legitimate Palestinian unity government as agreed between Hamas and Fatah." Alistair Crooke, a former Middle East adviser to the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, similarly observed, "Dahlan refused to deal with (the independent interior minister appointed to the unity government), and put his troops on the streets in defiance of the interior minister. Hamas felt that they had little option but to take control of security away from forces which were in fact creating insecurity." Hence, Hamas was not attempting a coup against the government or the Fatah organization as a whole but also against Dahlan's U.S.-funded militia (and individual Fatah loyalists it blamed for the murder of Hamas members).'
  14. ^ a b "Gaza Strip: devastated by conflict and Israel's economic blockade". Reuters. 12 October 2023. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  15. ^ Dagres, Holly (31 October 2023). "Israel claims it is no longer occupying the Gaza Strip. What does international law say?". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  16. ^ "Military occupation of Palestine by Israel". Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  17. ^ a b c Sanger, Andrew (2011). "The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla". In M.N. Schmitt; Louise Arimatsu; Tim McCormack (eds.). Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law - 2010. Vol. 13. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 429. doi:10.1007/978-90-6704-811-8_14. ISBN 978-90-6704-811-8. Israel claims it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip, maintaining that it is neither a State nor a territory occupied or controlled by Israel, but rather it has 'sui generis' status. Pursuant to the Disengagement Plan, Israel dismantled all military institutions and settlements in Gaza and there is no longer a permanent Israeli military or civilian presence in the territory. However the Plan also provided that Israel will guard and monitor the external land perimeter of the Gaza Strip, will continue to maintain exclusive authority in Gaza air space, and will continue to exercise security activity in the sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip as well as maintaining an Israeli military presence on the Egyptian-Gaza border. and reserving the right to reenter Gaza at will.
    Israel continues to control six of Gaza's seven land crossings, its maritime borders and airspace and the movement of goods and persons in and out of the territory. Egypt controls one of Gaza's land crossings. Troops from the Israeli Defence Force regularly enter pans of the territory and/or deploy missile attacks, drones and sonic bombs into Gaza. Israel has declared a no-go buffer zone that stretches deep into Gaza: if Gazans enter this zone they are shot on sight. Gaza is also dependent on Israel for water, electricity, telecommunications and other utilities, currency, issuing IDs, and permits to enter and leave the territory. Israel also has sole control of the Palestinian Population Registry through which the Israeli Army regulates who is classified as a Palestinian and who is a Gazan or West Banker. Since 2000 aside from a limited number of exceptions Israel has refused to add people to the Palestinian Population Registry.
    It is this direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza that has led the United Nations, the UN General Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, International human rights organisations, US Government websites, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a significant number of legal commentators, to reject the argument that Gaza is no longer occupied.

    *Scobbie, Iain (2012). Elizabeth Wilmshurst (ed.). International Law and the Classification of Conflicts. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 978-0-19-965775-9. Even after the accession to power of Hamas, Israel's claim that it no longer occupies Gaza has not been accepted by UN bodies, most States, nor the majority of academic commentators because of its exclusive control of its border with Gaza and crossing points including the effective control it exerted over the Rafah crossing until at least May 2011, its control of Gaza's maritime zones and airspace which constitute what Aronson terms the 'security envelope' around Gaza, as well as its ability to intervene forcibly at will in Gaza.
    *Gawerc, Michelle (2012). Prefiguring Peace: Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding Partnerships. Lexington Books. p. 44. ISBN 9780739166109. Archived from the original on 28 February 2023. Retrieved 8 November 2016. While Israel withdrew from the immediate territory, it remained in control of all access to and from Gaza through the border crossings, as well as through the coastline and the airspace. In addition, Gaza was dependent upon Israel for water, electricity sewage communication networks and for its trade (Gisha 2007. Dowty 2008). In other words, while Israel maintained that its occupation of Gaza ended with its unilateral disengagement Palestinians – as well as many human right organizations and international bodies – argued that Gaza was by all intents and purposes still occupied.
  18. ^ Sara Roy, Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza: Engaging the Islamist Social Sector, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Princeton University Press, 2013 p.41:'Hamas's democratic victory, however, was short-lived . .followed as it was in June 2006 by an Israeli and US-led international political and economic boycott of the new Palestinian government. The boycott amounted to a form of collective punishment against the entire Palestinian population and, to my knowledge, was the first time in the history of the conflict that the international community imposed sanctions on the occupied rather than the occupier.'
  19. ^ a b Multiple sources:
  20. ^ "UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Call for Strengthening of International Support to the oPt". OCHA. 20 January 2020. Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2020. ..." including lifting of the blockade in Gaza..."
  21. ^ "Gaza has suffered under 16 year siege". The New York Times. 7 October 2023. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  22. ^ a b Arnon, Arie (Autumn 2007). "Israeli Policy towards the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The Economic Dimension, 1967–2007" (PDF). Middle East Journal. 61 (4): 575. doi:10.3751/61.4.11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2013.
  23. ^ a b Gaza Strip Archived 12 January 2021 at the Wayback Machine Entry at the CIA World Factbook
  24. ^ "Gaza Strip", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 9 November 2022, archived from the original on 12 January 2021, retrieved 14 November 2022
  25. ^ a b "The Gaza Strip's density, visualized". NBC News. 10 October 2023. Retrieved 25 November 2023.
  26. ^ a b Doug Suisman, Steven Simon, Glenn Robinson, C. Ross Anthony, Michael Schoenbaum (eds.) The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Rand Corporation, 2007 p.79
  27. ^ Norman G. Finkelstein (2018). Gaza. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-29571-1.
  28. ^ "Gaza Strip", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 25 September 2023, retrieved 29 October 2023
  29. ^ Humaid, Maram. "Gaza graduates demand UNRWA solutions for high unemployment rate". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 13 November 2023.
  30. ^ >"Development through Empowerment: The 2014 Palestine Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  31. ^ a b Sara M. Roy (2016). The Gaza Strip. Institute for Palestine Studies USA, Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-88728-321-5.
  32. ^ Filiu, Jean-Pierre (1 November 2014). "The Twelve Wars on Gaza" (PDF). Journal of Palestine Studies. 44 (1): 52–60. doi:10.1525/jps.2014.44.1.52.
  33. ^ Rynhold, Jonathan; Waxman, Dov (2008). "Ideological Change and Israel's Disengagement from Gaza". Political Science Quarterly. 123 (1): 11–37. doi:10.1002/j.1538-165X.2008.tb00615.x. ISSN 0032-3195. JSTOR 20202970.
  34. ^ a b Gardus, Yehuda; Shmueli, Avshalom, eds. (1978–79). The Land of the Negev (English title) (in Hebrew). Ministry of Defense Publishing. pp. 369–370.
  35. ^ James Kraska, 'Rule Selection in the Case of Israel's Blockade of Gaza:Law of Naval Warfare or Law of Sea?,' in M.N. Schmitt, Louise Arimatsu, Tim McCormack (eds.,) Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Springer Science & Business Media, 2011 pp.367–395, p.387
  36. ^ Farrell, Stephen (2 November 2023). "Israel-Gaza war: a timeline of the conflict's history". Reuters. Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  37. ^ Filiu 2014, p. 71-72.
  38. ^ Filiu 2014, p. 76.
  39. ^ "All-Palestine Government, by Shlaim, Avi". Answers.com. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  40. ^ Varble 2003, p. 45
  41. ^ Filiu 2014, p. 96.
  42. ^ a b Varble 2003, p. 46
  43. ^ a b Joe Sacco produces comics from the hot zones. New York Times.
  44. ^ Filiu 2014, p. 97.
  45. ^ "UNRWA Report to the UN General Assembly November 1 – December 14, 1956" Archived 29 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ Sacco, Joe (2009). Footnotes in Gaza: A Graphic Novel. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 978-0-8050-7347-8.
  47. ^ Filiu 2014, p. 99-100.
  48. ^ a b Filiu 2014, p. 105.
  49. ^ "How has the Gaza Strip influenced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?" Archived 20 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine entry at ProCon.org citing "An Historical Encyclopedia of the Arab–Israeli Conflict"
  50. ^ Elisha Efrat, The West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Geography of Occupation and Disengagement, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Routledge, 2006 pp.74–75.
  51. ^ Baster, James (1955). "Economic Problems in the Gaza Strip". Middle East Journal. 9 (3): 323–327. JSTOR 4322725.
  52. ^ Adam Shatz,Vengeful Pathologies,' London Review of Books Vol. 45 No. 21 · 2 November 2023
  53. ^ Roy, S. M. (2016). The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development. United States: Institute for Palestine Studies USA, Incorporated.
  54. ^ a b Sara Roy, 'The Gaza Strip: A Case of Economic De-Development,' Archived 22 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Autumn, 1987), pp. 56–88.
  55. ^ a b Tom Segev 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Henry Holt and Company, 2007 p.532
  56. ^ Jonathan Ofir, Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967 Archived 23 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine Mondoweiss on 17 November 2017.
  57. ^ Aderet, Ofer (17 November 2017). "Israeli Prime Minister After Six-Day War: 'We'll Deprive Gaza of Water, and the Arabs Will Leave". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 19 September 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  58. ^ Nur Masalha, The politics of denial: Israel and the Palestinian refugee problem. Pluto Press, 2003 p.104.
  59. ^ "About Anera | Palestinian Refugee Aid Organization". Anera. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  60. ^ Harkabi, Yehoshafat (1988). Israel's Fateful Hour. New York: Harper & Row Publishers. ISBN 9780060916138. p. 87.
  61. ^ "Intifada begins on Gaza Strip". HISTORY. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  62. ^ Lockman; Beinin (1989), p. 5.
  63. ^ Edward Said (1989). Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation. South End Press. pp. 5–22. ISBN 978-0-89608-363-9.
  64. ^ Michael Omer-Man The accident that sparked an Intifada, 12/04/2011
  65. ^ David McDowall,Palestine and Israel: The Uprising and Beyond, University of California Press, 1989 p. 1
  66. ^ "The accident that sparked an Intifada". The Jerusalem Post. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  67. ^ a b Ruth Margolies Beitler, The Path to Mass Rebellion: An Analysis of Two Intifadas, Lexington Books, 2004 p.xi.
  68. ^ a b Lustick, Ian S. (1993). Brynen, Rex; Hiltermann, Joost R.; Hudson, Michael C.; Hunter, F. Robert; Lockman, Zachary; Beinin, Joel; McDowall, David; Nassar, Jamal R.; Heacock, Roger (eds.). "Writing the Intifada: Collective Action in the Occupied Territories". World Politics. 45 (4): 560–594. doi:10.2307/2950709. ISSN 0043-8871. JSTOR 2950709. S2CID 147140028.
  69. ^ a b "BBC NEWS". news.bbc.co.uk.
  70. ^ a b Walid Salem, 'Human Security from Below: Palestinian Citizens Protection Strategies, 1988–2005,' in Monica den Boer, Jaap de Wilde (eds.), The Viability of Human Security,Amsterdam University Press, 2008 pp. 179–201 p. 190.
  71. ^ Almog, Doron (23 December 2004). "Lessons of the Gaza Security Fence for the West Bank". Jerusalem Issue Briefs. Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs. 4 (12). Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  72. ^ a b Pressman 2006, p. 114.
  73. ^ Byman 2011, p. 114.
  74. ^ Cohen, Samy (2010). "Botched Engagement in the Intifada". Israel's Asymmetric Wars. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US. pp. 73–91. doi:10.1057/9780230112971_6. ISBN 978-1-349-28896-0."The al-Aqsa Intifada ushered in an era with a new brand of violence.1 It began with a popular uprising following Ariel Sharon's visit to Temple Mount on September 28, 2000. But unlike the first Intifada, which was basically a civil uprising against the symbols of an occupation that has lasted since June 1967, the second Intifada very quickly lapsed into an armed struggle between Palestinian activists and the Israeli armed forces. Almost from the very start, armed men took to hiding among crowds of Palestinians, using them as cover to shoot from. The IDF retaliated forcefully, each time causing several casualties."
  75. ^ Kober, Avi (2007). "Targeted Killing during the Second Intifada:: The Quest for Effectiveness". Journal of Conflict Studies. 27 (1): 94–114. ISSN 1198-8614. Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022. Based on the assumption that there was no longer one front or one line of contact, Israel was carrying out dozens of simultaneous operations on the ground and in the air on a daily basis, including TKs, which were supposed to have multi-dimensional effects. According to Byman, TKs were mostly attractive to Israelis as they satisfied domestic demands for a forceful response to Palestinian terrorism. Byman also believes that by bolstering public morale, the TKs helped counter one of the terrorists' primary objectives – to reduce the faith of Israelis in their own government.
  76. ^ Matta, Nada; Rojas, René (2016). "The Second Intifada: A Dual Strategy Arena". European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie. 57 (1): 66. doi:10.1017/S0003975616000035. ISSN 0003-9756. S2CID 146939293. Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022. Suicide terror, lethal attacks indiscriminately carried out against civilians via self-immolation, attained prominence in the Palestinian repertoire beginning in March 2001. From that point until the end of 2005, at which point they virtually ceased, 57 suicide bombings were carried out, causing 491 civilian deaths, 73% of the total civilians killed by Palestinian resistance organizations and 50% of all Israeli fatalities during this period. While not the modal coercive tactic, suicide terror was the most efficient in terms of lethality, our basic measure of its efficacy.
  77. ^ Brym, R. J.; Araj, B. (1 June 2006). "Suicide Bombing as Strategy and Interaction: The Case of the Second Intifada". Social Forces. 84 (4): 1969. doi:10.1353/sof.2006.0081. ISSN 0037-7732. S2CID 146180585. In the early years of the 21st century, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza became the region of the world with the highest frequency of - and the highest per capita death toll due to - suicide bombing.
  78. ^ Schweitzer, Y. (2010). The rise and fall of suicide bombings in the second Intifada. Strategic Assessment, 13(3), 39–48. "As part of the violence perpetrated by the Palestinians during the second intifada, suicide bombings played a particularly prominent role and served as the primary effective weapon in the hands of the planners."
  79. ^ Schachter, J. (2010). The End of the Second Intifada? Archived 30 September 2021 at the Wayback Machine. Strategic Assessment, 13(3), 63–70. "This article attempts to identify the end of the second intifada by focusing on the incidence of suicide bombings, arguably the most important element of second intifada-related violence."
  80. ^ Sela-Shayovitz, R. (2007). Suicide bombers in Israel: Their motivations, characteristics, and prior activity in terrorist organizations. International Journal of Conflict and Violence (IJCV), 1(2), 163. "The period of the second Intifada significantly differs from other historical periods in Israeli history, because it has been characterized by intensive and numerous suicide attacks that have made civilian life into a battlefront."
  81. ^ B'Tselem – Statistics – Fatalities 29.9.2000–15.1.2005, B'Tselem. Archived 14 April 2013 at archive.today
  82. ^ Barnard, Anne (22 October 2006). "Life in Gaza Steadily Worsens". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  83. ^ Myre, Greg (4 March 2006). "Gaza Crossing:Choked Passages to Frustration". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  84. ^ a b "Gaza crisis: key maps and timeline". BBC News. 6 January 2009. Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  85. ^ "Egypt Opens Gaza Border Crossing for the Injured – Middle East – Arutz Sheva". Israelnationalnews.com. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  86. ^ "Israel's control of the airspace and the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip". btselem.org. Archived from the original on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  87. ^ "Philadelphi Route". Reut Institute. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  88. ^ a b "Human Rights Council Special Session on the Occupied Palestinian Territories" Archived 15 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine 6 July 2006; Human Rights Watch considers Gaza still occupied.
  89. ^ a b Levs, Josh (6 January 2009). "Is Gaza 'occupied' territory?". CNN. Archived from the original on 21 January 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  90. ^ a b "Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories: The conflict in Gaza: A briefing on applicable law, investigations and accountability". Amnesty International. 19 January 2009. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  91. ^ Multiple sources:
    • Sanger, Andrew (2011). "The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla". In M.N. Schmitt; Louise Arimatsu; Tim McCormack (eds.). Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law - 2010. Vol. 13. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 429. doi:10.1007/978-90-6704-811-8_14. ISBN 978-90-6704-811-8. Israel claims it no longer occupies the Gaza Strip, maintaining that it is neither a Stale nor a territory occupied or controlled by Israel, but rather it has 'sui generis' status. Pursuant to the Disengagement Plan, Israel dismantled all military institutions and settlements in Gaza and there is no longer a permanent Israeli military or civilian presence in the territory. However, the Plan also provided that Israel will guard and monitor the external land perimeter of the Gaza Strip, will continue to maintain exclusive authority in Gaza air space, and will continue to exercise security activity in the sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip as well as maintaining an Israeli military presence on the Egyptian-Gaza border. and reserving the right to reenter Gaza at will.
      Israel continues to control six of Gaza's seven land crossings, its maritime borders and airspace and the movement of goods and persons in and out of the territory. Egypt controls one of Gaza's land crossings. Troops from the Israeli Defence Force regularly enter pans of the territory and/or deploy missile attacks, drones and sonic bombs into Gaza. Israel has declared a no-go buffer zone that stretches deep into Gaza: if Gazans enter this zone they are shot on sight. Gaza is also dependent on Israel for water, electricity, telecommunications and other utilities, currency, issuing IDs, and permits to enter and leave the territory. Israel also has sole control of the Palestinian Population Registry through which the Israeli Army regulates who is classified as a Palestinian and who is a Gazan or West Banker. Since 2000 aside from a limited number of exceptions Israel has refused to add people to the Palestinian Population Registry.
      It is this direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza that has led the United Nations, the UN General Assembly, the UN Fact Finding Mission to Gaza, International human rights organisations, US Government websites, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a significant number of legal commentators, to reject the argument that Gaza is no longer occupied.
    • Scobbie, Iain (2012). Elizabeth Wilmshurst (ed.). International Law and the Classification of Conflicts. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 978-0-19-965775-9. Even after the accession to power of Hamas, Israel's claim that it no longer occupies Gaza has not been accepted by UN bodies, most States, nor the majority of academic commentators because of its exclusive control of its border with Gaza and crossing points including the effective control it exerted over the Rafah crossing until at least May 2011, its control of Gaza's maritime zones and airspace which constitute what Aronson terms the 'security envelope' around Gaza, as well as its ability to intervene forcibly at will in Gaza.
    • Gawerc, Michelle (2012). Prefiguring Peace: Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding Partnerships. Lexington Books. p. 44. ISBN 9780739166109. Archived from the original on 28 February 2023. Retrieved 8 November 2016. While Israel withdrew from the immediate territory, it remained in control of all access to and from Gaza through the border crossings, as well as through the coastline and the airspace. In addition, Gaza was dependent upon Israel for water, electricity sewage communication networks and for its trade (Gisha 2007. Dowty 2008). ln other words, while Israel maintained that its occupation of Gaza ended with its unilateral disengagement Palestinians – as well as many human right organizations and international bodies – argued that Gaza was by all intents and purposes still occupied.
  92. ^ Hilmi S.Salem, 'Social, Environmental and Security Impacts of Climate Change on the Eastern Mediterranean,' in Hans Günter Brauch, Úrsula Oswald Spring, Czeslaw Mesjasz, John Grin, Patricia Kameri-Mbote, Béchir Chourou, Pál Dunay, Joern Birkmann (eds.), Coping with Global Environmental Change, Disasters and Security: Threats, Challenges, Vulnerabilities and Risks, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Springer Science & Business Media, 2011 pp.421–445 p.431.
  93. ^ Jerome Slater, Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008–09 Israeli Campaign in Gaza "The continued Israeli de facto or, as it was sometimes called, "indirect occupation" of Gaza was so repressive that it was common for Israeli journalists, academicians, human rights organizations, and even former high government officials such as Shlomo Ben-Ami to describe Gaza as "an open air prison" Archived 24 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine, International Security 37(2):44-80 · October 2012
  94. ^ a b "EU Heads of Missions' report on Gaza 2013". Eccpalestine.org. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  95. ^ Counting underway in Palestinian elections, International Herald Tribune, 25 January 2006.[dead link]
  96. ^ Election officials reduce Hamas seats by two, ABC News Online, 30 January 2006. Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  97. ^ "Hamas Refuses to Recognize Israel". The New York Times. 22 September 2006. Archived from the original on 9 February 2023. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  98. ^ Weisman, Steven R. (8 April 2006). "U.S. and Europe Halt Aid to Palestinian Government". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  99. ^ "More Palestinians flee homelands". Archived from the original on 15 May 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2007., Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press, 9 December 2006.
  100. ^ Palestinian Cease-Fire Holds on 1st Day Archived 20 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Ibrahim Barzak, Associated Press, 31 January 2007
  101. ^ "Six killed in Hamas ambush on Gaza convoy". Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007.. Nidal al-Mughrabi, Reuters, 1 February 2007. On web.archive.org
  102. ^ Gaza erupts in fatal clashes after truce Archived 13 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press, 2 February 2007 (on usatoday.com)
  103. ^ "Hamas kills 8 in Gaza border clash". Archived from the original on 17 May 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2007., By Ibrahim Barzak, Associated Press Writer, 15 May 2007.
  104. ^ Top Palestinian security official quits Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press, 14 May 2007; Resignation deepens Gaza crisis, BBC, 14 May 2007. Archived 11 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  105. ^ Israel attacks in Gaza amid factional violence Archived 9 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Associated Press, 16 May 2007.
  106. ^ "Hamas Blames World". Jerusalem Post. 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  107. ^ "Over 600 Palestinians killed in internal clashes since 2006". Ynetnews. Ynetnews.com. 20 June 1995. Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  108. ^ "Violations of the human rights of Palestinians by Palestinians – Severe human rights violations in inter-Palestinian clashes". Btselem.org. 12 November 2007. Archived from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  109. ^ Black, Ian; Tran, Mark (15 June 2007). "Hamas takes control of Gaza". Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 31 August 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  110. ^ Abrahams, Fred; Human Rights Watch (2008). Internal fight: Palestinian abuses in Gaza and the West Bank. Human Rights Watch. pp. 14–15.
  111. ^ "Mubarak calls Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip a 'coup'". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 25 June 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  112. ^ Dudkevitch, Margot (14 March 2006). "EU monitors flee Rafah border crossing". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  113. ^ "Middle East — Abbas wins Egypt backing on border". Al Jazeera English. 28 January 2008. Archived from the original on 3 February 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  114. ^ "Egypt finds 60 Gaza tunnels in 10 months". Jerusalem Post. 13 November 2007. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  115. ^ "Gaza source: Hamas planned border wall blast for months". Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2010. Ha'aretz
  116. ^ "Egypt 'won't force Gazans back'". BBC News. 23 January 2008. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  117. ^ "Israeli Gaza operation 'not over'". BBC News. 3 March 2008. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  118. ^ El-Khodary, Taghreed; Bronner, Ethan (28 December 2008). "Israelis Say Strikes Against Hamas Will Continue". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  119. ^ "A Timeline of Terror: 2001 to 2012, The Official Blog of the Israel Defense Forces". Idfblog.com. 16 April 2012. Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  120. ^ Kershner, Isabel; El-Khodary, Taghreed (4 January 2009). "Israeli Troops Launch Attack on Gaza". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  121. ^ Mozgovaya, Natasha. "IDF shell kills 30 in Gaza UN school; Israel mulls appeal over Hamas fire from UN facilities". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 1 April 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  122. ^ Ravid, Barak (28 December 2008). "IAF strike followed months of planning". Haaretz.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  123. ^ Kasher, Asa. "Analysis: A moral evaluation of the Gaza War". The Jerusalem Post | Jpost.com. Jpost.com. Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  124. ^ "Slow recovery from wounds of Gaza conflict". BBC News. 27 December 2009. Archived from the original on 28 February 2023. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  125. ^ "IOM Appeal for Gaza Focuses on Health and Recovery". International Organization for Migration. 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  126. ^ Lappin, Yaakov (26 March 2009). "IDF releases Cast Lead casualty". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011.
  127. ^ "Gaza Health Fact Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 March 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  128. ^ "MIDEAST: Attack on Water Brings Sanitation Crisis – IPS". Ipsnews.net. 18 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  129. ^ "Environmental Assessment of the Gaza Strip" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  130. ^ "The humanitarian situation in Gaza and FAO's response" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  131. ^ a b "Gaza 'looks like earthquake zone'". BBC News. 20 January 2009. Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  132. ^ a b "Gaza: Humanitarian situation". BBC News. 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on 8 February 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  133. ^ "Launches Emergency Food Distributions to Families in Gaza | WFP | United Nations World Food Programme – Fighting Hunger Worldwide". WFP. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  134. ^ "Palestinian unity government sworn in by Mahmoud Abbas". BBC. 2 June 2014. Archived from the original on 3 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  135. ^ Nathan Thrall (1 August 2014). "Hamas's Chances". London Review of Books. 36 (16).
  136. ^ Jack Khoury, Hamas claims responsibility for three Israeli teens' kidnapping and murder', Haaretz, 21 August 2014.
  137. ^ 'Mashal: Hamas was behind murder of three Israeli teens', Ynet, 22 August 2014.
  138. ^ Zonszein, Mairav (27 March 2015). "Israel killed more Palestinians in 2014 than in any other year since 1967". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  139. ^ 'And now for the whitewashing,' B'tselem 24 May 2021
  140. ^ Alouf, Abu (30 March 2018). "15 Palestinians reported killed by Israeli fire as Gaza border protest builds". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018.
  141. ^ Khoury, Jack; Kubovich, Yaniv; Zikri, Almog Ben (15 May 2018). "Mass Gaza Border Clashes: 58 Palestinians Killed by Israeli Gunfire, 1,113 Wounded". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  142. ^ Khaled Abu Toameh, "Hamas vows Gaza protests last until Palestinians return to all of Palestine", The Times of Israel, 9 April 2018.
    "The protests are an uprising for "Jerusalem, Palestine, and the right of return", he said, referring to the demand that Palestinian refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to their former homes in Israel."
  143. ^ David M. Halbfinger & Iyad Abuheweila, "One Dead Amid Violence in 3rd Week of Protests at Gaza-Israel Fence" Archived 17 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, 13 April 2018.
    "They are objecting to Israel's 11-year-old blockade of Gaza and seeking to revive international interest in Palestinian claims of a right of return to the lands they were displaced from in 1948."
  144. ^ David M. Halbfinger, Iyad Abuheweila, Jugal K.Patel '300 Meters in Gaza: Snipers, Burning Tires and a Contested Fence,' The New York Times 15 May 2018.’ Most Gazans are Palestinian refugees or their descendants, and marching on the fence highlights their desire to reclaim the lands and homes from which they were displaced 70 years ago in the war surrounding Israel's creation.’
  145. ^ Adam Rasgon, "Masses of Gazans head to border area for 'right of return' says organizer" Archived 5 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine The Jerusalem Post, 28 March 2018.
    "Masses of Palestinians are expected to come to the Gaza border on Friday and move into tents there for a planned six-week-long protest 'to demand the right of return to the homes and villages that they were expelled from in 1948'", Ahmad Abu Ratima, an organizer of the protest, told The Jerusalem Post".
  146. ^ Daoud Kuttab, "The truth about Gaza" Archived 18 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine Al-Monitor, 23 May 2018;
    "This is clearly a new trend in Palestinian society that attempts to expand the notions of resistance and nonviolent protests."
  147. ^ Kershner, Isabel; Abuheweila, Iyad (30 March 2018). "Israeli Military Kills 15 Palestinians in Confrontations on Gaza Border". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  148. ^ "At least 14 Palestinians killed in Land Day protests". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  149. ^ Khoury, Jack; Kubovich, Yaniv; Zikri, Almog Ben (30 March 2018). "15 Killed, Dozens Wounded, as Thousands Gather on Gaza-Israel Border for "March of Return"". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 6 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  150. ^ "At least 5 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops as thousands march on Gaza-Israel border for 'March of Return'". newsx.com. 30 March 2018. Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  151. ^ Williams, Jennifer (2 April 2018). "The recent violence at the Gaza-Israel border, explained". Vox. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  152. ^ "IDF warns of larger military response to Gaza protest". The Jerusalem Post. 31 March 2018. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018.
  153. ^ "UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Protests in Gaza Presents its Findings - Press Release - Question of Palestine". www.un.org.
  154. ^ Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory - A/HRC/40/74 (PDF) (Report). UNHRC. 28 February 2019.
  155. ^ Milena Vaselinovic and Oren Liebermann (28 February 2019). "UN: Israel may have committed war crimes during Gaza protests". CNN.
  156. ^ "The Toll of War on Palestinians in Gaza". The World Bank. 27 June 2021. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  157. ^ "Gaza August 2022 Escalation Dashboard (09 August 2022) - occupied Palestinian territory | ReliefWeb". reliefweb.int. 9 August 2022. Archived from the original on 16 August 2022. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  158. ^ "United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - occupied Palestinian territory | Escalation in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #2 as of 18:00, 8 August 2022". United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - occupied Palestinian territory. 8 August 2022. Archived from the original on 12 August 2022. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  159. ^ Hutchinson, Bill (22 November 2023). "Israel-Hamas War: Timeline and key developments". ABC News. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
  160. ^ "Israel announces 'total' blockade on Gaza". www.aljazeera.com. 9 October 2023.
  161. ^ "Israel announces 'complete siege' of Gaza, cutting its electricity, food, water, and fuel". Business Insider. 9 October 2023.
  162. ^ Emanuel Fabian and Jacob Magid (16 October 2023). "IDF notifies relatives of 199 people that their loved ones are Gaza hostages". The Times of Israel.
  163. ^ "Humanitarian crisis in Gaza could get far worse, warns UN relief chief". UN News. United Nations. 17 November 2023. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  164. ^ "Gaza reports more than 11,100 killed. That's one out of every 200 people". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 December 2023.
  165. ^ "Gaza death toll continues to rise nearly 3 months after Hamas attack on Israel". NHK WORLD. Retrieved 6 January 2024.
  166. ^ "Israel-Gaza war in maps and charts: Live Tracker". Al Jazeera. 21 November 2023.
  167. ^ "As Israel's Aerial Bombardments Intensify, 'There Is No Safe Place in Gaza', Humanitarian Affairs Chief Warns Security Council". United Nations. 12 January 2024.
  168. ^ "Over 50% of Gaza buildings damaged or destroyed in Israel's bombardment". Axios. 5 January 2024.
  169. ^ "The numbers that reveal the extent of the destruction in Gaza". The Guardian. 8 January 2024.
  170. ^ "Israel-Palestinian conflict: Life in the Gaza Strip". BBC News. 20 May 2021. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  171. ^ Roug, Louise (23 August 2007). "In Gaza, surfers find peace and freedom riding the deep blue". Articles.latimes.com. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  172. ^ UBEID, Khalid F. (2013). "The origin, nature and stratigraphy of Pleistocene-Holocene palaeosols in Wadi Es-Salqa (Gaza Strip, Palestine)" (PDF). Serie Correlación Geológica. 29 (2): 63–78. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 August 2017.
  173. ^ MANAGEMENT PLAN- WADI GAZA Archived 5 June 2022 at the Wayback Machine, by the MedWetCoast project
  174. ^ "'Now we can breathe a little': How Gaza is bringing its wetlands back to life". 16 April 2023.
  175. ^ a b c "Gaza Strip". Freedom House. 4 January 2018. Archived from the original on 7 October 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  176. ^ a b "Hamas announces cabinet reshuffle in Gaza". Hurriyetdailynews.com. 2 September 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  177. ^ "Gaza Strip: Freedom in the World 2020 Country Report". Freedom House. Retrieved 17 October 2023. Since 2007, Gaza has functioned as a de facto one-party state under Hamas rule
  178. ^ "How powerful is Hamas?". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 17 October 2023. In 2006, a year after Israel withdrew from Gaza, Hamas won a majority of seats in a Palestinian election and later formed a new unity government with Fatah, its nationalist rival. In June 2007, after a brief civil war, it assumed sole control of Gaza, leaving Fatah to run the Palestinian Authority (pa) in the West Bank. In response Israel and Egypt imposed a suffocating blockade on the coastal strip in 2007, strangling its economy and in effect confining its people in an open-air prison. There have been no elections since. Hamas has run Gaza as an oppressive one-party state, leaving some Palestinians there disenchanted with its leadership. Nevertheless, Palestinians widely consider it more competent than the ailing, corrupt pa.
  179. ^ Tristan Dunning, Hamas, Jihad and Popular Legitimacy: Reinterpreting Resistance in Palestine, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Routledge, 2016 p.212:'Since taking sole control of Gaza in June 2007, Hamas has proven itself to be a remarkably resilient and resourceful government entity. The movement has clearly entrenched itself as the hegemonic power in the coastal enclave to such an extent that the International Crisis Group contends that the power struggle in Gaza is no longer between Hamas and Fatah. Rather the main source of confrontation is between Hamas and other more hardline Islamists and salafists. . . Hamas has been far more successful in an administrative sense than the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, despite having access to only a fraction of the resources.'
  180. ^ Burton, Guy (2012). "Hamas and its Vision of Development". Third World Quarterly. 33 (3): 525–540. doi:10.1080/01436597.2012.657491. ISSN 0143-6597. JSTOR 41507185. S2CID 144037453. The joint Hamas-Fatah government did not last long. Within months the two sides were fighting again, eventually leading to a political split of the occupied territory, with Fatah controlling the West Bank and Hamas establishing a virtual one-party state in Gaza
  181. ^ Pelham, Nicolas (2010), Ideology and Practice: The Legal System in Gaza under Hamas, archived from the original on 28 June 2021, retrieved 27 January 2019 – via www.academia.edu
  182. ^ "Hamas growing in military stature, say analysts". Middle East Eye. Archived from the original on 7 October 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  183. ^ Who are Islamic Jihad? BBC. 9 June 2003. Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  184. ^ a b "Islamic Militant Group". Foxnews.com. 23 June 2013. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  185. ^ "Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)". www.dni.gov. NCTC. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014.
  186. ^ "Australian Government: Listing of Terrorism Organisations". Archived from the original on 26 January 2014.
  187. ^ Joe Truzman (4 June 2021). "Analysis: 17 Palestinian militant factions identified in recent Gaza conflict". FDD's Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 5 June 2021. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  188. ^ "Radical Islam In Gaza" (PDF), International Crisis Group, Middle East Report N°104, 29 March 2011, pp. 6-7 with note 61. Accessed 22 Oct 2023.
  189. ^ "Torn apart by factional strife". Amnesty International. 24 October 2007. Archived from the original on 13 March 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2007.
  190. ^ "Hamas kills seven at Arafat rally in Gaza". Archived from the original on 13 August 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2016., AFP, (via SBS World News Australia), 13 November 2007.
  191. ^ "Israeli MFA". Mfa.gov.il. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  192. ^ "Profile: Gaza Strip". BBC News. 6 January 2009. Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  193. ^ Greenberg, Hanan (20 June 1995). "IDF official rejects claims of humanitarian crisis in Gaza". Ynetnews. Ynetnews.com. Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  194. ^ Dana Weiss and Ronen Shamir (2011) Corporate Accountability to Human Rights: The Case of the Gaza Strip. Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol. 24, 1, 155–183.
  195. ^ Dozens die in Israel-Gaza clashes Archived 30 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine BBC News. 2 March 2008.
  196. ^ See the short video Reality Check: Gaza is still occupied Archived 5 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine on Al Jazeera, showing the arguments
  197. ^ Richard Falk, Statement by Prof. Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories Archived 29 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine, United Nations Human Rights Council, 27 December 2008.
  198. ^ 'Israel, Gaza & International Law,' Archived 14 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine 19 November 2012
  199. ^ A. Sanger, 'The Contemporary Law of Blockade and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla,' in M.N. Schmitt, Louise Arimatsu, Tim McCormack (eds.), Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law – 2010, Archived 2 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Springer, 2011. pp.429–430
  200. ^ "Frequently asked questions on ICRC's work in Israel and the occupied territories". International Committee of the Red Cross. 13 October 2023. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  201. ^ Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip when it withdrew from Gaza in 2005, so why does Hamas continue to fire rockets into Israel? Archived 14 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine. FAQ on the official Hamas website. Accessed November 2015. "This is one of the myths perpetuated by Israel's propaganda ... Israel re-deployed its military occupation forces and evacuated its illegal settlers outside the population centers in Gaza. BUT Israel effectively controls the sea, land and air spaces and border crossings that link the Gaza Strip to the outside world. According to the UN and human rights organizations, Israel still maintains its occupation of the Gaza Strip and subjects the 1.8 million Palestinians in this tiny strip to a horrendous siege and blockade that constitute a war crime under international law." Here, Hamas cites the view of the international community.
  202. ^ Dore Gold, JCPA Legal Acrobatics: The Palestinian Claim that Gaza is Still "Occupied" Even After Israel Withdraws Archived 21 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 3, 26 August 2005.
  203. ^ International Law and Gaza: The Assault on Israel's Right to Self-Defense Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Vol. 7, No. 29 28 January 2008.
  204. ^ Israeli MFA Address by Israeli Foreign Minister Livni to the 8th Herzliya Conference Archived 26 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel), 22 January 2008.
  205. ^ "Behind the Headlines: Israeli Supreme Court Decision HCJ 9132/07". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 3 February 2008. Archived from the original on 31 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  206. ^ Cuyckens, Hanne (2016). "Is Israel Still an Occupying Power in Gaza?". Netherlands International Law Review. 63 (3): 275–295. doi:10.1007/s40802-016-0070-1.
  207. ^ Shany, Yuval (December 2005). "Faraway, so close: the legal status of Gaza after Israel's disengagement". Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. 8: 369–383. doi:10.1017/S1389135905003697. ProQuest 196888152.
  208. ^ Bell, Avi (July 2014). Israel May Stop Supplying Water and Electricity to Gaza (PDF) (Report). Kohelet Policy Forum. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 February 2018.
  209. ^ "Israel's New Supreme Court Justice's Deleted Facebook Post: Israel Isn't Obligated to Provide Gaza With Electricity". Haaretz. 28 February 2018. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  210. ^ "Palestinians in Lebanon ready to fight Israel, if Hezbollah helps them". Al Jazeera.
  211. ^ Tétrault-Farber, Gabrielle (11 July 2023). Maclean, William (ed.). "Israel occupation makes Palestinian territories 'open-air prison', UN expert says". Reuters. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  212. ^ a b c d e "Gaza: Israel's 'Open-Air Prison' at 15". Human Rights Watch. 12 October 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  213. ^ a b c "Gaza: The world's largest open-air prison". Norwegian Refugee Council. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  214. ^ "'Hell on earth': Israel unrest spotlights dire conditions in Gaza". abcnews. 9 October 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  215. ^ "This Gaza war didn't come out of nowhere". Vox. 7 October 2023. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  216. ^ "No, Palestinians Can't Just Leave Gaza". Washington Post. 12 October 2023. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  217. ^ "What is Gaza Strip, the besieged Palestinian enclave under Israeli assault?". Al Jazeera. 12 October 2023. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  218. ^ "Analyst: Gaza becomes the biggest open-air prison on earth". CNN. 12 October 2023. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  219. ^ "Gaza under siege: The 25-mile-long strip with 2.3 million 'prisoners'". The Independent. 13 October 2023. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  220. ^ "David Cameron describes blockaded Gaza as a 'prison'". BBC. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  221. ^ "Bernie Sanders says Israel is violating international law with blockade on 'open-air prison' in Gaza". Business Insider. 11 October 2023. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  222. ^ Gideon Levy (2010). The Punishment of Gaza. Verso Books. ISBN 9781844676019.
  223. ^ Ilan Pappe (2017). The Biggest Prison on Earth. One WorldPublications Books. ISBN 9781851685875.
  224. ^ Eiland, Giora (6 February 2018). "Needed: A different Gaza strategy". Ynetnews. Archived from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  225. ^ Levy, Yagil (7 August 2018). "Opinion | Strengthen the State of Gaza". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  226. ^ Arens, Moshe (26 June 2017). "Opinion | Gaza, a Failed Palestinian State". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 24 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  227. ^ Ahren, Raphael. "Shaked touts 'confederation' of Jordan, Gaza, and parts of West Bank". The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 29 November 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  228. ^ "A new era of sovereignty in Gaza - Gaza: After the war". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  229. ^ Schulman, Marc (23 September 2016). "Tel Aviv Diary: The tragedy of the Palestinians". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 27 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  230. ^ 'Israel's control of the airspace and the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip,' Archived 28 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine B'Tselem 1 January 2013.
  231. ^ a b Grounded in Gaza, but hoping to fly again Archived 1 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine, NBC News, 19 May 2005
  232. ^ a b Years of delays at Gaza airport Archived 8 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Johnston, Alan. BBC News, 15 April 2005
  233. ^ Precisely Wrong—Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles Archived 4 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Human Rights Watch, 30 June 2009
  234. ^ Cook, Jonathan (28 November 2013). "Gaza: Life and death under Israel's drones". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  235. ^ Abu Saif, Atef (March 2014). Sleepless in Gaza: Israeli drone war on the Gaza Strip (PDF) (Report). Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Regional Office Palestine. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  236. ^ a b c Hard times drive Gazans into perilous ′buffer zone′ Archived 24 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine. BBC, 10 November 2010
  237. ^ a b c d PCHR-Gaza: Israeli Buffer Zone Policies Typically Enforced with Live Fire Archived 17 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. PCHR, 11 May 2015
  238. ^ Israeli forces release 5 detained fishermen in Gaza Archived 20 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Ma'an, 4 June 2015
  239. ^ a b c Palestinian Killed in Gaza Buffer Zone Archived 1 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine. IMEMC, 5 April 2011
  240. ^ Roy, S. M. (2016). The Gaza Strip: The political economy of de-development, expanded third edition. United States: Institute for Palestine Studies p. l
  241. ^ a b c The Gaza Strip: The Humanitarian Impact of the Blockade Archived 17 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine. UN OCHA, July 2015. "1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza are 'locked in', denied free access to the remainder of the occupied Palestinian territory and the outside world." Available at Fact Sheets Archived 29 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  242. ^ Peaceful march reaches Gaza buffer zone Archived 20 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Ma'an News Agency, 18 January 2010
  243. ^ Roy, S. M. (2016). The Gaza Strip: The political economy of de-development, expanded third edition. United States: Institute for Palestine Studies p. xlix
  244. ^ IDMC, Access Restricted Areas in the Gaza Strip, p. 1.
  245. ^ IDF spokesman provides contradictory answers regarding the width of the "no-go zone" which residents of the Gaza Strip are prohibited from entering Archived 2 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Gisha, August 2015
  246. ^ "Look for Another Homeland" Archived 5 December 2021 at the Wayback Machine. Human Rights Watch, September 2015
  247. ^ a b Abbas: Egypt Right to Create Buffer Zone on Gaza Border Archived 20 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Jack Khoury, Haaretz, 1 December 2014 (premium). ″Abbas believed the destruction of the tunnels was the best solution. The Palestinian president said he had recommended previously the sealing or destruction of the tunnels by flooding them and then punishing the owners of the homes that contained entrances to the tunnels, including demolishing their homes.″
  248. ^ Gisha. "Gaza Up Close". Archived from the original on 1 December 2023. Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  249. ^ "Red Cross: Israel trapping 1.5m Gazans in despair". Haaretz. 29 June 2009. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  250. ^ Samira Shackle (14 October 2013). "Israel tightens its blockade of Gaza for 'security reasons'". Middle East Monitor. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013.:'Yet critics point out that it is not just military supplies that cannot enter Gaza, but basic construction materials, medical supplies, and food stuffs. The issue came to international attention in 2010, when a flotilla of activists attempted to break the blockade and carry humanitarian aid into Gaza. Nine were killed when the Israeli navy entered the flotilla. The incident shone a spotlight onto the blockade of Gaza. At one stage, prohibited materials included coriander, ginger, nutmeg and newspapers. A relaxation of the rules in June 2009 meant that processed hummus was allowed in, but not hummus with extras such as pine nuts or mushrooms. One of the biggest issues has been building materials. The strict restrictions on goods going into Gaza meant that it was impossible to start reconstruction work; it was therefore impossible to repair shattered windows to keep out the winter rain.'
  251. ^ "Position paper on the naval blockade on Gaza". idf.il. 8 September 2010. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2015. (Full version in Hebrew)
  252. ^ Gaza: Donors, UN Should Press Israel on Blockade