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Gaza Strip: A History of Occupation and Conflict



Israel ended its direct occupation of Gaza in 2005, but it maintains a tight air, land and sea blockade over the region. (Shutterstock)
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The Gaza Strip, a small region bordering Israel and Egypt, has a complex history and is currently one of the most densely populated territories in the world. Previously under the control of the Ottoman Empire, Britain, and Egypt, the Gaza Strip was captured by Israel in the 1967 war. After years of tension and violence, Israel ended its direct occupation of the region in 2005 but maintains a tight air, land and sea blockade and strictly controls what goods and resources can enter the area.

Hamas and the Governance of Gaza

Hamas, a major political force in the Palestinian territories, took control of Gaza in 2006. Israel’s blockade, in effect since 2007, has caused significant economic and humanitarian damage. The blockade has been criticized by human rights groups and the United Nations, who argue that Gaza remains under Israeli military occupation.

Living Conditions and Vulnerabilities in the Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip is home to over 2 million people, nearly half of whom are children. The region has one of the highest unemployment rates globally, and approximately 80% of the population relies on international aid. The blockade has severely restricted movement and access to markets, leading to a steady socioeconomic decline.

The high population density and poor living conditions in Gaza make it particularly vulnerable to conflict. The recent escalation of violence has resulted in heavy civilian casualties and displacement, with many seeking shelter in schools and facilities operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Read more at The Washington Post.

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