This article is about the territory. For the city, see Gaza City. For the government, see Gaza Governorate. For the 2002 film, see Gaza Strip
The Gaza Strip (/ˈɡɑːzə/; Arabic: قِطَاعُ غَزَّةَ Qiṭāʿu Ġazzah [qi.tˤaːʕ ɣaz.zah], Hebrew: רצועת עזה, [r’tsu’at ‘áza]), or simply Gaza, is a Palestinian enclave on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Egypt on the southwest for 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) and Israel on the east and north along a 51 km (32 mi) border. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank are claimed by the de jure sovereign State of Palestine.
The territories of Gaza and the West Bank are separated from each other by Israeli territory. Both fell under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, but the Strip has, since the Battle of Gaza in June 2007, been governed by Hamas, a militant, Palestinian, fundamentalist Islamic organization, which came to power in the last-held elections in 2006. It has been placed under an Israeli and US-led international economic and political boycott from that time onwards.
The territory is 41 kilometers (25 mi) long, from 6 to 12 kilometers (3.7 to 7.5 mi) wide, and has a total area of 365 square kilometers (141 sq mi). With around 1.85 million Palestinians on some 362 square kilometers, Gaza, if considered a top-level political unit, ranks as the 3rd most densely populated in the world. An extensive Israeli buffer zone within the Strip renders much land off-limits to Gaza’s Palestinians. Gaza has an annual population growth rate of 2.91% (2014 est.), the 13th highest in the world, and is often referred to as overcrowded. The population is expected to increase to 2.1 million in 2020.[clarification needed] In 2012, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in the occupied Palestinian territory warned that the Gaza Strip might not be a “liveable place” by 2020; as of 2020, Gaza had suffered shortages of water, medicine and power, a situation exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis. According to Al Jazeera, “19 human rights groups urged Israel to lift its siege on Gaza”. The UN has also urged the lifting of the blockade, while a report by UNCTAD, prepared for the UN General Assembly and released on 25 November 2020, said that Gaza’s economy was on the verge of collapse and that it was essential to lift the blockade. Due to the Israeli and Egyptian border closures and the Israeli sea and air blockade, the population is not free to leave or enter the Gaza Strip, nor is it allowed to freely import or export goods. Sunni Muslims make up the predominant part of the population in the Gaza Strip.