Thursday, 18 April 2024

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Factbox-Six months on, how war has hit the Gaza Strip By Reuters

Protecting Palestinians a moral imperative, Pentagon chief tells Israeli counterpart By Reuters

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(Reuters) – Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed tens of thousands, caused a humanitarian catastrophe and raised the chances of a wider conflict across the Middle East.

Here are some facts about the territory:


The Gaza Strip is situated at the southeast corner of the Mediterranean, 45 km (25 miles) long and at most 10 km (6 miles) wide. It is wedged between Israel to the north and east, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the south.

Formerly part of British-mandate Palestine, the Gaza Strip emerged as a territory during the 1948 war of Israel’s creation, when invading Egyptian forces established control over the sliver of territory.

Israel occupied the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war, along with the West Bank. The Palestinians have long sought to establish a state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


About 2.3 million Palestinians live in Gaza, giving it one of the highest population densities in the world. Some 1.7 million of them are refugees or descendants of refugees who were expelled or fled their homes during the 1948 war.

Even before the latest war erupted, some 81.5% of the population lived in poverty, according to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA.


In 1987, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank rose up against Israeli occupation in the first Intifada.

In 1993, the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel signed a historic peace agreement, paving the way for limited Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The newly created Palestinian Authority cracked down on opponents of the peace process, including the Islamist group Hamas.

Gaza was a theatre of the Second Intifada which erupted after the failure of peace talks in 2000. Israel withdrew settlers and soldiers from the territory in 2005, but continued to control its land and sea borders – bar the crossing to Egypt.

In 2006, Hamas scored a surprise victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections and seized full control of Gaza, overthrowing forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel and Egypt tightened restrictions on the movement of people and goods through the Gaza crossings.

Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought numerous conflicts with Israel since then, including a 50-day war in 2014. Confrontations have been largely defined by Palestinian rocket fire into Israel and Israeli air and artillery bombardments of the…

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