The Gaza Strip is a narrow piece of land located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It shares borders with Israel to the north and east, and Egypt to the south. The region holds a significant place in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has a dense population and has witnessed a series of historical and political events over the decades.
Historically, the Gaza Strip has been a centre of civilization for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egyptian rule. During the 20th century, the territory came under British and then Egyptian administration, before being occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. In 2005, Israel unilaterally stepped back from the Gaza Strip, evacuating civilians and military personnel.
When did Gaza Come Under Hamas?
In 2007, the political organization Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip after a conflict with the Fatah party. After the Hamas takeover, Israel and Egypt set a blockade on the region mentioning security concerns.
The strict restrictions have impacted travel and the availability of necessary goods including food, fuel, medicine, and water, which has led to a humanitarian crisis. The political situation in Gaza is complex, with the territory’s status and the legitimacy of the governing bodies being matters of disagreement on the international stage.
The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with around 2 million inhabitants residing in a 365 square kilometre area. Due to the blockade and recurring conflicts, the region faces high levels of poverty and unemployment. Infrastructure and basic necessities have been severely affected, with shortages of electricity, clean water, and medical supplies.
Recent Escalations In The Area
On October 7, a terrible attack launched by Hamas resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 Israelis and the kidnapping of over 200 others. Israel reacted with airstrikes, killing nearly 7,000 Palestinians in Gaza as of October 27, with the death toll rising continuously. This recent escalation signifies the continuing volatile nature of the Hamas-Israel conflict, with the Gaza Strip often being the battlefield.
On October 31, 2023, all phones and internet stopped working in Gaza for the second time in five days. Israel did let some trucks carrying food and other needed things into Gaza. But on November 1, 2023, the fighting continued in a place south of a neighbourhood called Zeitoun.
Israel also attacked a camp in Gaza from the air, saying they were targeting a leader of Hamas. The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken was reported to be planning a visit to Israel and Jordan in light of the ongoing conflict.
Countries around the world have been trying to help bring peace and improve the difficult living conditions in Gaza through different peace-making efforts. Many countries have sent help and support to the civilians in Gaza. However, finding a long-term solution has been hard because ongoing land disagreements and issues with political acceptance keep adding to the conflict.