Photo: 'Child in Gaza'/@Samar Abu Elouf

The blockade denies Palestinians in the Gaza Strip their basic human rights, in contravention of International Law. It severely limits their possibility to import and export merchandise and to travel in and out of their country. It denies them access to their agricultural lands and fishing grounds. The blockade is a form of collective punishment, which deprives the inhabitants the possibility to support themselves, security of food supplies, medical care, education, drinkable water and cultural exchange.

Short overview of the Gaza Strip and the Blockade

  • The Gaza Strip is named after Gaza, the large port in the North. The Strip consists of a long, narrow coastal stretch between Egypt and Israel
  • The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, with a population of 1.9 million people (> 4,500 people per square km)
  • More than half of the population is under 18 years of age
  • More than 250,000 of the Palestinians of Gaza were born after the Blockade was tightened in 2007
  • 38% of the Palestinians of Gaza live below the poverty level as defined by the United Nations (UN)
  • 47% of the Palestinians of Gaza endure moderate or severe food insecurity
  • 1.3 million Palestinian people in Gaza need humanitarian assistance
  • More than 30% of the labour force is unemployed
  • Average wages have decreased by 20% during the last 6 years
  • 35% of the agricultural land on the Gaza Strip is fully or partially unavailable due to Israeli military restrictions
  • 85% of Palestinian fishing waters adjacent to Gaza are inaccessible due to restrictions imposed by the Israeli Navy
  • 95% of Gaza’s water sources are unfit for drinking
  • 85% of the schools plan their teaching in double shifts due to lack of proper premises

Gaza Map

Sources: OCHA – United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (including August 2016 Fact Sheet), Occupied Palestinian Territory, CIA – The World Fact Book, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement