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July 2014

Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip borders the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Israel; it is slightly more than twice the size of Washington, D.C. The terrain is flat to rolling, sand and dune-covered coastal plain. The climate is temperate, with mild winters and summers that are dry and warm to hot.

Inhabited since at least the 15th century B.C., Gaza has been dominated by many different peoples and empires throughout its history. In the early 16th century, it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. During World War I, it fell to the British forces and became part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip. It was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967. Between 1994 and 1999, Israel transferred security and civilian responsibility for much of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority.

In late 2005, Israel withdrew all of its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip, but continues to control maritime, airspace, and other access. In early 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won the Palestinian Legislative Council election and took control of the PA government. Brief periods of increased violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip in 2007-08 and again in 2012, led to Egyptian-brokered truces. The status quo remains with HAMAS in control of the Gaza Strip and the PA governing the West Bank.

CIA World Factbook, 6/2014

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