The Gaza Strip is a narrow strip of land located at the south-west of the State of Israel, name of its main city Gaza.
At the end of the Israeli-Arab conflict of 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied by the Egypt, and until the occupation by Israel during the Guerre the six day old of 1967 remained it. The territory saw the arrival of approximately 170 000 refugees installed in eight camps.
In 1950, the population was of 254 000 inhabitants.
Just like certain localities of the the West Bank, it is today managed by the Palestinian Autorité. However, although the Israeli colonies established since 1967 were evacuated during the month of August 2005, the maritime and air borders of this territory are always controlled by Israel. The connection with the the West Bank is not guaranteed. After the withdrawal, Israel recognized for the border with the Gaza Strip the statute of international Frontière.
August 17th 2005, after having envisaged it since several months, the Israeli government led by Ariel Sharon ordered with the army and the police force the evacuation of Jewish establishments of the Gaza Strip, officially in the continuation of the efforts for the application of the Roadmap for peace initiated by the four-bit byte - the United States, UNO, Russia and European Union.
The prevalent position of the islamist movement Hamas in this territory made fear with certain observers, a loss of influence of the Palestinian Autorité at the conclusion of the Israeli evacuation. These fears were proven by the fratricidal confrontations which led, in the month of June 2007, with the takeover complete of the Gaza Strip by Hamas, at the conclusion of qualified events of Palestinian civil war by the international mediums.
Approximately 1,2 million Palestinians live in the years 2000 in the Gaza Strip, mainly of the descendants of the refugees who fled Israel at the time of the war of 1948.
The density of the population is important with approximately 3.800 hab/km but not exceptional (Comparisons: Singapore with 6 751 inhabitants with the km ²; Hauts-de-Seine with 8 356 inhabitants with the km ²).
Since the War the six day old in 1967, 21 Israeli colonies had been built on the territory, before their dismantlings during the summer 2005.
After the departure of the Israeli populations in 2005, the majority of the inhabitants is Moslem with Christian minorities (0,7%).
Birth rate : 41,85 births /1 000 inhabitants
- Death rate : 4,12 dead /1 000 inhabitants
- Migratory balance : 1,73 migrant (S) /1 000 inhabitants
- Infant mortality : 24,76 dead /1 000 inhabitants
- Aggregative index of fruitfulness : 6,29 children/woman
- Growth rate : approximately 4% per annum.
Water provision: a crucial problem
The Aquifère of Gaza, whose limits correspond about to the borders of the Gaza Strip, is historically the only source of water of this territory. One estimates his reserve at 5000 million m ³. But the quality of its water is very disparate and its soft water reserve is limited to 1400 million m ³. Still it is about an estimate based on a definition of fresh water much more tolerant than the European standards.
The independent source of renewable water is the rainwater: one estimates the refill at 120 mm/an, that is to say less than 50% of pluviometry. The infiltration is indeed rather weak because the evapotranspiration and the streaming are important because of the climate (the rains are generally short and torrential). Formerly, the Wadi Gaza, principal river of the area, contributed a considerable share to the refill of the aquifer, but its overexploitation reduced this contribution to some 5 annual mm. If one adds the 10-15 million m ³ /an of side flow, the quantity of renewable water available in the Gaza Strip east to the maximum of an about sixty million m ³ /an. The aquifer is thus largely overexploited considering the 3500 municipal and agricultural wells current draw 150 million m ³ /an. If one takes account of flows of return, the deficit Net is approximately 31 million m ³ /an. This analysis is corroborated by the appearance of broad cones of depression around the principal fields of extractions and urban centres, where one measures piezometric levels lower several meters than the sea level.
In theory Israel provides approximately 5 million m ³ /an of water to Gaza by the means of the Israeli Water Carrier, but “it is difficult to know if Israel provides really water to Gaza or is satisfied to pump water of Gaza to put it in the channel” (Brooks and Lonergan, 1992).
Origins of the shortage
Since this type of information is politically very sensitive, one misses reliable data to quantify the water shortage. Not very many is however those which dispute it: one needs a solid bad faith to refuse to go obviously. The origins of this shortage are multiple: it is of course related on the fast increase in demand and the concomitant reduction in the available resources, but it has also a structural cause: the inequitable distribution of the resources.
The Gaza Strip has a strong population density, which had with the surge of the Palestinian refugees after the war of 1948, and a population growth among most important of the world. The increase in the population accelerates the overexploitation of the aquifer, which probably began time of the Egyptian administration. Today, the piezometric level of the aquifer decreases, on average, from 15 to 20 cm per annum (Brooks and Lonergan, 1992). In parallel, water quality does not cease decreasing because of the salt water intrusions, agricultural spreadings and the sewage infiltrations. Average salinity increases by 15 to 20 ppm per annum and one noted intrusions of sea water to more than one kilometer and half of the coast. The fertilizers, weedkillers, pesticides and sewages particularly contaminated the aquifers not very deep: the Research institute Applied of Jerusalem even estimates that the water of Gaza is not any more drinkable today (Zarour and Al , 1994). The most optimistic analyzes advance the figure of 23% of contaminated wells (Beschorner, 1992). A study undertaken on 60 wells by an agency of UNO showed that not one did not correspond to the standards of potability for nitrates and the pH (Kuhail and Zoarob, 1994).
Imbalance between the resources and the needs was amplified by the discriminatory policy of distribution imposed by Israel before the evacuation of the Gaza Strip. Between 1967 and 2005, the water resources were placed under military jurisdiction and of severe restrictions were forced by the military decree 158 in order to preserve the aquifer. The Palestinian quotas were cold between 1967 and 2005 and the destroyed or confiscated hydraulic installations. Prolonged cover-fires also prevented a normal access to water. In same time, the Israeli colonists reached without restrictions on a subsidized water which they pay up to 10 times less expensive than the Palestinians.
Increasing threat of the Pollution S
Most of pollution is due to the chaos of Palestine which remains always more or less a battle field where an authority struggles missing means completely. It goes from there thus from chemical pollution due to the agricultural activity, almost entirely dérégulée. The use of DDT is current but, in any case, even the plant health Produits traditional are a true calamity, insofar as they are often badly employed (they are generally not labelled in Arabic). In the same way, there does not exist sewerage system worthy of this name, even not of sewer of the whole for 10% of the population (Roy, 1995). For lack of infrastructures, the liquid rejections (sewages and lixiviats of discharges) are not even rejected into the sea, which would be a less evil insofar as the means miss to treat them. The human consequences are with the height of the consequences on the environment: the population of Gaza suffers from diseases of the kidneys and the liver, a strong infantile death rate, of Cancer S, intestinal parasites and diseases of hydrous origin like the Choléra.
Also serious and regrettable are the consequences of this anarchy, they do not constitute the main issue. The most worrying phenomenon is the salinisation of the water, which results basically from the overexploitation of the aquifer: the fresh water deficit tends to be filled by salt water coming either from the sea, or of brackish aquifers located under the tablecloth of fresh water or in edge of the Gaza Strip. If overexploitation is not dammed up, all the aquifer could saliniser without short-term reversibility. This salinisation of water threatens agriculture directly: indeed, when a ground is irrigated with a water of raised salinity, part of this one disappears by evapotranspiration and salt crystallizes, forming a crust which makes the ground unproductive. One can always fight against this phenomenon by adopting cultures more resistant to salt or by adding gypsum and organic matters on the grounds, but these techniques do not make it possible to resist indefinitely.
The economy gazaouite is traditionally agricultural and did not experience almost any industrial development under the Egyptian occupation.
Since 1967, it was completely integrated into the Israeli market on which it became completely dependant. Gaza exported primarily agricultural produce towards Israel but also of the end products manufactured under Israeli license in the frontier industrial park of Erez. The independent source of incomes remained however its not qualified labor which was used in the construction trade and Israeli agriculture.
Since the beginning of the the Second Intifada, the borders between the Gaza Strip and Israel were the subject of closings repeated with the passage of the goods and the people for sedentary reasons. The border posts as well as the industrial park of Erez were particularly the target of many armed attacks of the Palestinian groups. Consequently, the whole of the economy gazaouite collapsed.
The Palestinian Authority ensured the artificial survival of the economy by hypertrophying the public sector, mainly the security services, thanks to the international assistances. Close to Gazaoui on three would be remunerated by the Palestinian Authority.
Following the seizure of power by Hamas, the international backers ceased the direct financial transfers to the public authorities of the Gaza Strip which are not any more able to pay their employees. Unemployment rate would then reach the bar of the 60% in 2007.
The Gaza Strip remains completely dependant on Israel for the supply of its electricity and its fuel.
Transport and communication
Since the Nineties, in order to stop the wave of Attack-suicides made following Terrorist incursions since the Gaza Strip on the Israeli territory, a fence delimiting the borders of 1967 strictly Enclave the Gaza Strip on the Israeli side.
The transportation routes with outside which remain for the Palestinian population are:
- the point of passage of Erez in north to reach Israel.
- the southern border with Rafah with the Egypt a long corridor of 14km, known as Corridor of Philadelphia controlled by the Palestinian Authority since September 2005, not significant where Israel sought to dam up the traffics of weapons which forwarded by tunnels built by the smugglers. The safety of the border is from now on also of the responsibility for the Egyptian soldiers.
- the port of Qarni is reserved for goods transport.
- the airport of Gaza which had been built after the signature of the Accords of Oslo is not usable any more since the first months of the the Second Intifada where the Israeli army plowed the tarmac with the bulldozer and destroyed the tower of control and the radars of the airport. No agreement envisages its rebuilding for the moment.
The restrictions which undergoes the Palestinian population should gradually decrease since the withdrawal of Israel in August 2005. An agreement signed the November 15th 2005 must quickly allow the broader opening of the point of passage of Rafah towards Egypt. The Palestinian Authority began in counterpart to fight against the traffics of weapons and the European Union will control the video monitoring of this border post. Before the end of the year 2005, Israel committed itself allowing a greater circulation of the goods since the Gaza Strip, the export of all the products of agriculture, and the installation of Palestinian lines of buses which would cross Israel. A port with Gaza is also considered favorably by the two parts.
However, the hostile reactions to these negotiations point out the concerns of the hardest tendencies of each camp: the Hamas rejects this agreement which reinforces the capacity of Mahmoud Abbas, and certain Israeli politicians as Benyamin Netanyahou fears that missiles can be imported by the future wearing of Gaza and be used to cut down Israeli planes at the time of their takeoff and landing with the Aéroport Ben Gourion.
Chronology of the colonies and the Israeli establishments in the Gaza Strip
1946 a Kibbutz established has Kfar Darom.
- June 1967: Israel conquers the Gaza Strip, occupied territory and managed by the Egypt since 1949.
at the end of 1967: The Prime Minister Levi Eshkol decides to create a buffer zone in the south-west of Israel by installing Israeli establishments in Egypt. The idea is very quickly drawn aside by the fear of the government to have Palestinian attacks in this zone and points also the lack of water resources.
1977 : A new wave of Israeli colonists have the authorization to join the installations of the Israeli army and thereafter of new colonies of settlement develop.
1982 : After the peace agreement concluded between the State of Israel and the Egyptian state, the establishment of Yamit which was in the peninsula of the the Sinai is evacuated. Certain occupants are sent towards Gaza.
1987 : Palestinian rising in Gaza, the Israeli government reacts immediately by establishing new colonies of settlement.
October 2004: The plan is validated by Knesset.
September 16th 2005: UNO recognizes officially the application by Israel of the withdrawal of the Gaza Strip but not the end of the occupation following the frontier control of the territory by Israel
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