[Country map of Gaza Strip]

Gaza Strip

Note--The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements ("the DOP"), signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, provides for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Under the DOP, final status negotiations are to begin no later than the beginning of the third year of the transitional period.


Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Israel

Map references: Middle East

total area: 360 sq km
land area: 360 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: total 62 km, Egypt 11 km, Israel 51 km

Coastline: 40 km

Maritime claims: Israeli occupied with interim status subject to Israeli/Palestinian negotiations - final status to be determined

International disputes: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli occupied with interim status subject to Israeli/Palestinian negotiations - final status to be determined

Climate: temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summers

Terrain: flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain

Natural resources: negligible

Land use:
arable land: 13%
permanent crops: 32%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 55%

Irrigated land: 115 sq km (1992 est.)

current issues: desertification
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: NA

Note: there are 24 Jewish settlements and civilian land use sites in the Gaza Strip (August 1994 est.)


Population: 813,322 (July 1995 est.)
note: in addition, there are 4,800 Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip (August 1994 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 52% (female 205,192; male 215,158)
15-64 years: 45% (female 185,748; male 183,886)
65 years and over: 3% (female 13,106; male 10,232) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 4.55% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 50.24 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 4.75 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 30.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.09 years
male: 69.56 years
female: 72.69 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 7.74 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: NA
adjective: NA

Ethnic divisions: Palestinian Arab and other 99.4%, Jewish 0.6%

Religions: Muslim (predominantly Sunni) 98.7%, Christian 0.7%, Jewish 0.6%

Languages: Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers), English (widely understood)

Literacy: NA%

Labor force: NA
by occupation: construction 33.4%, agriculture 20.0%, commerce, restaurants, and hotels 14.9%, industry 10.0%, other services 21.7% (1991)
note: excluding Jewish settlers


Note: Under the Israeli-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements ("the DOP"), Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, and subsequently to an elected Palestinian Council, as part of interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and responsibilities for the Gaza Strip and Jericho has taken place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area. The DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the transitional period for external security and for internal security and public order of settlements and Israelis. Final status is to be determined through direct negotiations within five years.

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gaza Strip
local long form: none
local short form: Qita Ghazzah

Digraph: GZ


Overview: In 1991 roughly 40% of Gaza Strip workers were employed across the border by Israeli industrial, construction, and agricultural enterprises, with worker remittances supplementing GDP by roughly 50%. Gaza depends upon Israel for nearly 90% of its external trade. Aggravating the impact of Israeli military administration, unrest in the territory since 1988 (intifadah) has raised unemployment and lowered the standard of living of Gazans. The Persian Gulf crisis and its aftershocks also have dealt blows to Gaza since August 1990. Worker remittances from the Gulf states have dropped, unemployment has increased, and exports have fallen. The withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip in May 1994 brings a new set of adjustment problems.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $1.7 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $2,400 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.7% (1993)

Unemployment rate: 45% (1994 est.)

revenues: $33.6 million
expenditures: $34.5 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY89/90)

Exports: $83 million (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities: citrus
partners: Israel, Egypt

Imports: $365 million (c.i.f., 1992)
commodities: food, consumer goods, construction materials
partners: Israel, Egypt

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate 11% (1991 est.)

Electricity: power supplied by Israel

Industries: generally small family businesses that produce textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis have established some small-scale modern industries in an industrial center

Agriculture: olives, citrus and other fruits; vegetables; beef and dairy products

Economic aid: $240 million disbursed from international aid pledges in 1994

Currency: 1 new Israeli shekel (NIS) = 100 new agorot

Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels (NIS) per US$1 - 3.0270 (December 1994), 3.0111 (1994), 2.8301 (1993), 2.4591 (1992), 2.2791 (1991), 2.0162 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year (since 1 January 1992)


total: NA km; note - one line, abandoned and in disrepair, little trackage remains

total: NA
paved: NA
unpaved: NA
note: small, poorly developed road network

Ports: Gaza

total: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 1


Telephone system: NA; note - 10% of Palestinian households have telephones (1992 est.)
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: NA

broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: NA; note - 95% of Palestinian households have radios (1992 est.)

broadcast stations: 0
televisions: NA; note - 59% of Palestinian households have televisions (1992 est.)

Defense Forces

Branches: NA

Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP