Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip (Arabic: قطاع غزةtransliteration: Qiṭāʿ Ġazza/Qita' Ghazzah, Hebrew: רצועת עזהRetzu'at 'Azza) is a coastal strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Egypt on the south-west and Israel on the north and east. It is about 41 kilometers (25 mi) long, and between 6 and 12 kilometers (4–7.5 mi) wide, with a total area of 360 square kilometers (139 sq mi). The area is not recognized internationally as part of any sovereign country but is claimed by the Palestinian National Authority as part of the Palestinian territories. Since the June 2007 battle of Gaza, actual control of the area is in the hands of the Hamas de facto government.

Egypt governed the Gaza Strip from 1948-67, and today rules the southern border between the Gaza strip and the Sinai desert, a border now famous for the breach in early 2008 and the smuggling of weapons through illegal underground tunnels[1]. Israel governed the Gaza Strip from 1967-2005. Pursuant to the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Israel maintains military control of the Gaza strip's airspace, land borders and territorial waters.

The territory takes its name from Gaza, its main city. It has about 1.4 million Palestinian residents.[2] Most are either refugees or descended from refugees of the Palestinian exodus

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