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The Gaza Strip Essay

629 words - 3 pages

The Gaza Strip:
* About 1.7 million inhabitants, with about 1 million being un-registered refugees
* Many are decedents of Palestinians that sought refuge during the Arab-Israeli war in the late 1940’s
* Large population growth, due to an extremely high fertility rate of about 5 children per woman and a current median age about 18 years
* Religious distribution is about 99.3% Sunni Muslim and 0.7% Christian

Economic & Social Situation:
* After the Hamas group won elections in 2006 (seen as a terrorist group by the US, Canada, and the European Union) all funds to the Palestinian government have been frozen by these countries
* The strip has been shut out from Israel, with the only goods being allowed in being of humanitarian nature
* Because of the Israeli withdrawal the GDP of the Strip greatly declined
* In 2010 Israel eased its closure to the strip, thus allowing some economic growth
* Major ...view middle of the document...

very very poor
* Most of the Gaza Strip admin funding comes from outside aid, mostly by the UN directly to education and food supply(main aid providers being the UN and US)
* The only part of the economy that is at all profitable is the “illegal tunnel economy” where smuggling takes place (also how weapons are brought into the country)
* Households spend about 50% of their income on food and about 40% of people live below the poverty line (receive UN assistance)
* Gazans are not allowed to farm in the Israeli buffer zone, resulting in a large loss in potential crops
* Gaza has little rain and no major fresh water source, underground water supplies are not large enough to keep up with demand
* For entertainment they “go to the beach, cook food, and wait for the power to turn back on”

Government Situation:
* Hamas Government Lead by Prime Minister Ismail Heniyeh after they won elections in 2006
* Originally elected on the premise of unification with the rivaling Fatah group but in 2007 severed ties with this group
* Palestinian authority dismissed the Hamas lead government, and Appointed Salam Fayad as Prime Minister in 2006, yet the authority of this appointed government only extends to West bank (yet international community reguards this government as legitimate)
* Negotiations between the two groups have been going on in Egypt, yet no official elections have come fourth
* Currently the Hamas government maintains only economic powers and the Ramallah based Palestinian National Authority performing function of governing Gaza independently
* The US and EU recognized the Fatah administration as legitimate and normalized ties with this group as well as resumed direct aid
* Refuses to take aid and or gas from Israel

In recent News:
* UN has been distributing fuel to critical infrastructure within the Gaza Strip in order to keep things running ( in order to provide a safety net)
* This was after power outages of over 16 hours
* Main concern is a sewage backup
* A Turkish donation kept the sewage station from hitting a critical level
* The strip used to move fuel through the many smuggling tunnels that were connected to Egypt, but Egyptian military has been destroying the tunnels as of late, supposedly cutting off fuel supply

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