Our section on Gaza is coming soon. Unfortunately, due to restricted travel the Welcome to Palestine team has yet been able to document the area. Until we do, our sources on the ground keep us up to date with the most current news and information. Stories from politics to parkour and everything in-between. Stay tuned…
The Gaza Strip is a Palestinian territory 365km2 in size and just 12km across at its widest point. The population in Gaza is approximately 2 million with almost 1 million citizens registered as U.N refugees. Such a large population in a small area means that Gaza has the third highest population density in the world. In 2010, despite such high numbers , Gazan youth had a 99% literacy rate and The Gaza Strip currently has five universities and 640 schools according to UNRWA figures.
Gaza has been repeatedly described as ‘The World’s Largest Outdoor Prison’ due to the restrictions placed upon travel, imports and exports. Israel controls the Erez border crossing and Egypt controls the Rafah border crossing see our ‘Getting In’ section. The entire land border of The Gaza Strip is surrounded by a border barrier with Israel and Egypt controlling exactly what goes in and out.
In 2005, Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza along with nine thousand Israeli settlers. However, the Human Rights Watch and UN Human Rights Council still consider Israel to be the occupying power in Gaza as the Oslo Accord permits Israel to control air and sea space.
In Gaza, in the last decade alone, conflict has damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes, over half of Gaza’s hospitals and over one thousand wells. This has left countless civilians without a home, running water, electricity or sufficient food.
In the face of such adversity, the people of The Gaza Strip still strive, like any people, to find hope and happiness in what they have. After incredibly limited export opportunities, change and progress is aimed at self-sustainability. A booming farmed fish industry is countering restrictions upon sea caught produce, agricultural growth has been bolstered by foreign aid and local investment into irrigation techniques and greenhouse crops.
To help rebuild parts of The Gaza Strip after multiple conflicts and bombing campaigns, the stone cutting and building trades are on the rise combined with an increase in tourism across all Palestinian territories. The economy is not the only part of Gaza trying to be heard on the international scene. Renowned musicians, artists, filmmakers,writers and poets are also making serious progress in their respective fields. Creative and active studies are blossoming within Gaza even inspiring surf clubs, sports teams and parkour groups.
Please explore Welcome to Palestine to discover more about Palestine, its people and rich heritage with constant updates for The Gaza Strip and The West Bank.