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PostSubject: Gaza Strip   Gaza Strip I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 19, 2010 7:25 pm

The Gaza Strip (Arabic: قطاع غزة‎ Qiṭāʿ Ġazza/Qita' Ghazzah, Arabic pronunciation: [qitˤaːʕ ɣazza]) lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about 41 kilometers (25 mi) long, and between 6 and 12 kilometers (4–7.5 mi) wide, with a total area of 360 square kilometers (139 sq mi). The territory takes its name from Gaza, its main city.

The population is about 1.5 million people, as of July 2009,[1] most of them refugees. One million of the population were, as of March 2005, refugees;[2] they fled to Gaza as part of the 1948 Palestinian exodus following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, from those parts of Mandate Palestine that became Israel, and their descendants. The population is predominantly Sunni Muslims and speaks a Western Egyptian dialect[citation needed] of Arabic.

The Gaza Strip acquired its current boundaries at the cessation of fighting in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, which was confirmed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement on 24 February 1949.[3] Article V of the Agreement declared that the demarcation line was not to be an international border. The Gaza Strip continued to be occupied by Egypt. At first it administered the territory through the All-Palestine Government and then directly from 1959 until 1967, when Israel occupied it following the Six-Day War. Pursuant to the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1993, the Palestinian Authority was set up as an interim administrative body to govern Palestinian population centres, with Israel maintaining control of Gaza Strip's airspace, some of its land borders and territorial waters, until a final agreement could be reached. As agreement remained elusive, Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in 2005.

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