This term describes the historical developments leading to the political status of the Gaza Strip today.
The term "Gaza Strip" refers to the territory bordering Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea (see Map) under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The city of Gaza is one of the ancient cities of the Mediterranean. Nowadays, the Gaza Strip is approximately 360 sq km around Gaza city with a population size of around 1.4 million. It is characterized by highest population density and birth rate as well as limited natural resources.1 However, this term focuses on its recent and present political status.
1 Click here for information from the CIA Factbook. 2 The armistice line followed the international border, with the exception of Gaza's incorporation into Egypt. Although, the armistice agreements explicitly denied the political significance of the lines, they were de facto boundaries until June, 1967. 3 Hajj Amin al-Husseini established the All Palestine Government (9/48) in Gaza which, was reduced, within a few years, to nothing more than "window dressing" by Egypt and the Arab League. See: Kimmerling, Baruch and Joel S. Migdal. The Palestinian People, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2003, p.216. 4 One exception was the opening of Egyptian universities to Palestinians. 5 Kimmerling and Migdal, p.230. 6 Nevertheless, Israel disputes the applicability of the laws of occupation outlined in the Geneva Convention to the Gaza Strip. Some Israeli lawyers argue that the laws of occupation laid out in the Fourth Geneva Convention do not apply to Gaza, because there was no sovereign power in Gaza and the Convention only deals with "occupation of territory of a High Contracting Party". The Israeli Supreme Court has not ruled on the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention towards Gaza as it views the Convention as treaty law and therefore beyond the scope of its jurisdiction. See: Benvenisti Eyal, The International Law of Occupation, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993, pp.107-109. 7 Resolution 242 was passed in the aftermath of the 1967 War, whereas resolution 338 was passed during the 1973 War. 8 No distinction was made between these two territories. 9 Leading up to the 1967 War, a few Arab initiatives (such as the Iraqi President Abd al-Karim Qasim's ) promoted the idea of establishing a single Palestinian Entity in the West Bank (under Jordan) and the Gaza Strip (under Egypt) as a prelude to the full liberation of all of Mandatory Palestine. In the aftermath of the 1967 War, the two territories came under Israeli control, thus uniting them under a common regime for the first time since their emergence as distinct territorial units. 10 See The Declaration of Principles, Article IV: Jurisdiction. 11 This agreement also incorporated the Paris Protocol which established a Customs Envelope around the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Israel. A Customs Envelope is a singular area under the control of one sovereign actor which imposes uniform taxes on imports and exports. No additional customs or tariffs are imposed within this internal arrangement.