The World Factbook (1990)/Gaza Strip

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The World Factbook (1990)
United States Central Intelligence Agency
Gaza Strip

pages 110–111

Gaza Strip

World Factbook (1990) Gaza Strip.jpg

 See regional map VI

Note: The war between Israel and the Arab states in June 1967 ended with Israel in control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Sinai, and the Golan Heights. As stated in the 1978 Camp David Accords and reaffirmed by President Reagan's 1 September 1982 peace initiative, the final status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, their relationship with their neighbors, and a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan are to be negotiated among the concerned parties. Camp David further specifies that these negotiations will resolve the respective boundaries. Pending the completion of this process, it is US policy that the final status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has yet to be determined. In the view of the US, the term West Bank describes all of the area west of the Jordan under Jordanian administration before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. With respect to negotiations envisaged in the framework agreement, however, it is US policy that a distinction must be made between Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank because of the city's special status and circumstances. Therefore, a negotiated solution for the final status of Jerusalem could be different in character from that of the rest of the West Bank.


Total area: 380km²; land area: 380 km²

Comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 62 km total; Egypt 11 km, Israel 51 km

Coastline: 40 km

Maritime claims: Israeli occupied with status to be determined

Disputes: Israeli occupied with status to be determined

Climate: temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summers

Terrain: flat to rolling, sand and dune covered coastal plain

Natural resources: negligible

Land use: 13% arable land, 32% permanent crops, 0% meadows and pastures, 0% forest and woodland, 55% other

Environment: desertification

Note: there are 18 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip


Population: 615,575 (July 1990), growth rate 3.2% (1990); in addition, there are 2,500 Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip

Birth rate: 47 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 7 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -7 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 55 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 63 years male, 66 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 7.0 children born/ woman (1990)

Nationality: NA

Ethnic divisions: 99.8% Palestinian Arab and other, 0.2% Jewish

Religion: 99% Muslim (predominantly Sunni), 0.7% Christian, 0.3% Jewish

Language: Arabic, Israeli settlers speak Hebrew, English widely understood

Literacy: NA%

Labor force: (excluding Israeli Jewish settlers) 32.0% small industry, commerce and business, 24.4% construction, 25.5% service and other, and 18.1% agriculture (1984)

Organized labor: NA


Long-form name: none

Note: The Gaza Strip is currently governed by Israeli military authorities and Israeli civil administration. It is US policy that the final status of the Gaza Strip will be determined by negotiations among the concerned parties. These negotiations will determine how this area is to be governed.


Overview: Nearly half of the labor force of the Gaza Strip is employed across the border by Israeli industrial, construction, and agricultural enterprises, with worker transfer funds accounting for 40% of GNP in 1989. The once dominant agricultural sector now contributes only 13% to GNP, about the same as that of the construction sector, and industry accounts for 7%. Gaza depends upon Israel for 90% of its imports and as a market for 80% of its exports. Unrest in the territory in 1988-89 (intifadah) has raised unemployment and substantially lowered the incomes of the population.

GNP: $380 million, per capita $650; real growth rate NA% (1988)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $36.6 million; expenditures $32.0 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1986)

Exports: $88 million; commodities—citrus; partners—Israel, Egypt (1989 est.)

Imports: $260 million; commodities—food, consumer goods, construction materials; partners—Israel, Egypt (1989 est.)

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: power supplied by Israel

Industries: generally small family businesses that produce cement, textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis have established some small-scale modern industries in an industrial center

Agriculture: olives, citrus and other fruits, vegetables, beef, dairy products

Aid: none

Currency: new Israeli shekel (plural—shekels); 1 new Israeli shekel (NIS) = 100 new agorot

Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels (NIS) per US$1—1.9450 (January 1990), 1.9164 (1989), 1.5989 (1988), 1.5946 (1987), 1.4878 (1986), 1.1788 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 April-March 31


Railroads: one line, abandoned and in disrepair, but trackage remains

Highways: small, poorly developed indigenous road network

Ports: facilities for small boats to service Gaza

Airports: 1 with permanent-surface runway less than 1,220 m

Telecommunications: stations—no AM, no FM, no TV

Defense Forces

Branches: NA

Military manpower: NA

Defense expenditures: NA