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Palestinian flag blowing in the wind
What To Know About Gaza
History - Science
The Gaza Strip is a 140 square mile territory at the western tip of Israel, flanked by Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. Gaza has 2.2 million people, most of whom are Palestinians.
Gaza is one of two territories that make up the State of Palestine, the other being the West Bank, a larger territory toward the northeast of Gaza.
Gaza and the West Bank were under Israeli occupation since 1967 following the Six-Day War between Israel and the nearby Arab nations of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
Although Israel formally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the area has been subjected to an Israeli blockade ever since, leading to poverty and hardship for Palestinians who live there.
The Gaza Strip fell under the control of Hamas, a terrorist group formerly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Hamas is currently led by Ismail Haniyeh.
Hamas has vowed to destroy the state of Israel in its entirety, which it sees as illegally occupying the region they call Palestine — an area that includes the Gaza Strip.
The majority of Gaza’s population is Arabic and they account for about 99% of people living there, but there remains a small but well-established Jewish population of settlers.
Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth with half the population made up of teenagers and kids. The Human Rights Watch described Gaza as an "open-air prison."