by Bill Belew
So, what do we know?
1. Gaza Strip sits borders the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Israel to the north and east and Egypt to the South.
2. Gaza Strip is just 360 square km, (139 sq mi) exactly half the size of the Hawaiian island of Maui and two times the size of Washington DC. It has no water that isn’t irrigated.
3. Gaza Strip has just 1,500,000 people. There have been more than 1,026,000 mobile phones sold. One in five residents are online. The population is about the same as that of Idaho, three times that of Wyoming, though Wyoming is 700 times the size. It’s also about the size of the Hawaiian island - Lānaʻi
4. Gaza Strip’s population grew in 1948-49 when thousands of Palestinian refugees fled there to escape fighting between Arab and Jewish forces. Most Gazans are descendants of those refugees.
5. Today one million Gazans are UN-registered refugees.
6. Gazans live primarily in refugee camps and are fed by the United Nations
7. One in five refugee dwellings in the Gaza Strip allow sewage and waste water to flow along the roads.
8. The average age in Gaza Strip is 17.6 years of age. 92% of them can read/write. More than one in six children aged 6-months to 5-years suffer from malnutrition.
9. The main languages of Gaza Strip are Arabic, Hebrew and English.
10. One of the largest sub groups in /Gaza Strip are abt 500 Russian women who married students from the area who came to Russia and were brought back. (I only think this important because, well, you TRY to tell a Russian woman she is not important.)
11. In the Gaza Strip 99.3% are Sunni Muslim and the rest are Christian (abt 10,500 people)
12. Gaza Strip does international business with Egypt, Israel and the West Bank. That’s it. Imports and exports
13. When goods are brought in or taken out of Gaza Strip, Israeli security precautions require a back-to-back system - trucks are unloaded and loaded onto Israeli vehicles on each side.
14. Israel, United States, Canada and European Union have frozen all funds to the Gaza Strip.
15. More than one in three people (34%) in the Gaza Strip are unemployed. How much different would things be if everyone had a job…I wonder out loud here? Some 4,000 people per square kilometer with nothing to do and extremist groups all around.
16. Next to Israel, Gaza Strip fears drought the most.
17. Israel maintains control of Gaza Strip’s:
- territorial waters
- offshore maritime access,
- the Gaza-Israel border
18. Egypt runs the southern border and governed Gaza Strip from 1948-1968.
19. An Israeli-built metal fence separates Israel and the Gaza Strip. There are tunnels under the border used to bring in goods and weapons.
20. The airport in Gaza Strip was put out of use by Israeli attacks in 2000.
#15 struck me the most when I looked up these facts. With 1 in three people having nothing to do with their time, what are they going to do? Something about idleness and the devil and workshop come to mind.