Gaza Strip 2003Gaza%20Strip

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Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip 


Gaza Strip - Introduction 2003
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Background: The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP) signed in Washington on 13 September 1993 provided for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Under the DOP Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority which includes the Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996 as part of the interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and responsibilities for the Gaza Strip and Jericho took place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area and in additional areas of the West Bank pursuant to the Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim Agreement the Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron the Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum and the 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. The DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the transitional period for external and internal security and for public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Direct negotiations to determine the permanent status of Gaza and West Bank had begun in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus but have been derailed by a second intifadah that broke out in September 2000. The resulting widespread violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip Israel's military response and instability within the Palestinian Authority continue to undermine progress toward a permanent agreement.

Gaza Strip - Geography 2003
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Location: Middle East bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Israel

Geographic coordinates: 31 25 N 34 20 E

Map referenceMiddle East

Total: 360 km²
Water: 0 km²
Land: 360 km²
Comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Washington DC

Land boundaries
Total: 62 km
Border countries: (2) Egypt 11 km; , Israel 51 km

Coastline: 40 km

Maritime claims: Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation

Climate: temperate mild winters dry and warm to hot summers

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

Extremes lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda) 105 m

Natural resources: arable land: natural gas
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 26.32%
Permanent crops: 39.47%
Other: 34.21% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 120 km² (1998 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: droughts

Note: there are 25 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Gaza Strip (February 2002 est.)

Gaza Strip - People 2003
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Note: in addition, there are more than 5,000 Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip (July 2003 est.)
Growth rate: 3.89% (2003 est.)
Below poverty line: 60% (2002 est.)

Noun: NA
Adjective: NA

Ethnic groups: Palestinian Arab and other 99.4% Jewish 0.6%

Languages: Arabic Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians) English (widely understood)

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 49.4% (male 322,658; female 307,026)
15-64 years: 47.9% (male 310,910; female 299,724)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 14,645; female 19,905) (2003 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age
Total: 15.3 years
Male: 15.1 years
Female: 15.5 years (2002)

Population growth rate: 3.89% (2003 est.)

Birth rate: 41.23 births/1000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate: 4.03 deaths/1000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.66 migrant(s)/1000 population (2003 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: desertification; salination of fresh water; sewage treatment; water-borne disease; soil degradation; depletion and contamination of underground water resources

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male/female
Total population: 1.03 male/female (2003 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate
Total: 24.15 deaths/1000 live births
Female: 22.87 deaths/1000 live births (2003 est.)
Male: 25.37 deaths/1000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71.4 years
Male: 70.13 years
Female: 72.73 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.17 children born/woman (2003 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: NA%
People living with hivaids: NA
Deaths: NA

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: NA
Total population: NA%
Male: NA%
Female: NA%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Gaza Strip - Government 2003
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Country name
Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Gaza Strip
Local long form: none
Local short form: Qita Ghazzah

Government type


Administrative divisions

Dependent areas


National holiday


Legal system

International law organization participation



Executive branch

Legislative branch

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Gaza%20Strip

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Gaza Strip - Economy 2003
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Economy overview: Economic output in the Gaza Strip - under the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority since the Cairo Agreement of May 1994 - declined by about one-third between 1992 and 1996. The downturn was largely the result of Israeli closure policies - the imposition of generalized border closures in response to security incidents in Israel - which disrupted previously established labor and commodity market relationships between Israel and the WBGS (West Bank and Gaza Strip). The most serious negative social effect of this downturn was the emergence of high unemployment; unemployment in the WBGS during the 1980s was generally under 5%; by 1995 it had risen to over 20%. Israel's use of comprehensive closures decreased during the next few years and in 1998 Israel implemented new policies to reduce the impact of closures and other security procedures on the movement of Palestinian goods and labor. These changes fueled an almost three-year-long economic recovery in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; real GDP grew by 5% in 1998 and 6% in 1999. Recovery was upended in the last quarter of 2000 with the outbreak of violence triggering tight Israeli closures of Palestinian self-rule areas and a severe disruption of trade and labor movements. In 2001 and even more severely in 2002 Israeli military measures in Palestinian Authority areas resulted in the destruction of capital plant and administrative structure widespread business closures and a sharp drop in GDP. Another major loss has been the decline in income earned by Palestinian workers in Israel. International aid of $2 billion in 2001-02 to the Gaza Strip and West Bank have prevented the complete collapse of the economy.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: -15% (2002 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 9%
Industry: 28%
Services: 63% (includes West Bank)

Agriculture products: olives citrus vegetables; beef dairy products

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

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: NA
By occupation services: 66%
By occupation industry: 21%
By occupation agriculture: 13% (1996)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 50% (includes West Bank) (2002 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 60% (2002 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $930 million
Expenditures: $1.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $15 million (includes West Bank) (2000 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 2.2% (includes West Bank) (2001 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $603 million f.o.b. includes West Bank
Commodities: citrus flowers
Partners: Israel Egypt West Bank

Imports: $1.9 billion c.i.f. includes West Bank
Commodities: food consumer goods construction materials
Partners: Israel Egypt West Bank

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $108 million (includes West Bank) (1997 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.7378 (2002) 4.2057 (2001) 4.0773 (2000) 4.1397 (1999) 3.8001 (1998) 3.4494 (1997)

Gaza Strip - Energy 2003
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Electricity access

Electricity production: NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Israel

Electricity consumption: NA kWh

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2001)

Electricity imports: NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Israel (2001)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Gaza Strip - Communication 2003
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
General assessment: NA
Domestic: rudimentary telephone services provided by an open-wire system
International: NA

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users: 60,000 (includes West Bank) (2001)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Gaza Strip - Military 2003
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Gaza Strip - Transportation 2003
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Note: includes Gaza International Airport (GIA), inaugurated on 24 November 1998 as part of agreements stipulated in the September 1995 Oslo II Accord and the 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum; GIA has been largely closed since October 2000 by Israeli orders and its runway was destroyed by the Israeli Defense Forces in December 2001 (2002)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 1
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
Over 3047 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 1
Under 914 m: 1 (2002)



Total: NA km; note - one line, abandoned and in disrepair, little trackage remains (2001 est.)


Waterways: none

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Gaza Strip - Transnational issues 2003
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Disputes international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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