Israel vs. Gaza Strip


IsraelGaza Strip
Background"Following World War II, Britain withdrew from its mandate of Palestine, and the UN proposed partitioning the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Nonetheless, an Israeli state was declared in 1948, and Israel subsequently defeated the Arab armies in a series of wars that did not end deep tensions between the two sides. (The territories Israel has occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted.) On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, Israel conducted bilateral negotiations with Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement with each. Israel and Palestinian officials on 13 September 1993 signed a Declaration of Principles (also known as the ""Oslo Accords""), enshrining the idea of a two-state solution to their conflict and guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. The parties achieved six additional significant interim agreements between 1994 and 1999 aimed at creating the conditions for a two-state solution, but most were never fully realized. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty.
Progress toward a final status agreement with the Palestinians was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between 2001 and February 2005. Israel in 2005 unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, evacuating settlers and its military while retaining control over most points of entry into the Gaza Strip. The election of HAMAS to head the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 temporarily froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Israel engaged in a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon from July-August 2006 and a 23-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip from December 2008-January 2009. In November 2012, Israel engaged in a seven-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. Direct talks with the Palestinians most recently launched in July 2013 but were suspended in April 2014. The talks represented the fourth concerted effort to resolve final status issues between the sides since they were first discussed at Camp David in 2000. Three months later HAMAS and other militant groups launched rockets into Israel, which led to a 51-day conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza.
"Inhabited since at least the 15th century B.C., Gaza has been dominated by many different peoples and empires throughout its history; it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the early 16th century. Gaza fell to British forces during World War I, becoming a part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip; it was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967. Under a series of agreements known as the Oslo accords signed between 1994 and 1999, Israel transferred to the newly-created Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip stalled in 2001, after which the area witnessed a violent intifada or uprising.

In early 2003, the ""Quartet"" of the US, EU, UN, and Russia presented a roadmap to a final peace settlement by 2005, calling for two states. Following PA President Yasir ARAFAT's death in late 2004 and the subsequent election of Mahmud ABBAS (head of the Fatah political faction) as the PA president in 2005, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to move the peace process forward. Israel by late 2005 unilaterally withdrew all of its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip, but it continues to control the Gaza Strip’s land and maritime borders and airspace. In early 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council election. Attempts to form a unity government between Fatah and HAMAS failed and violent clashes between their respective supporters ensued, culminating in HAMAS's violent seizure of all military and governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Since HAMAS’s takeover, Israel and Egypt have enforced tight restrictions on movement and access of goods and individuals into and out of the territory. Fatah and HAMAS have since reached a series of agreements aimed at restoring political unity between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank but have struggled to implement them. In April 2014, the two factions signed an agreement and two months later President ABBAS formed an interim government of independent technocrats, none of whom were affiliated with HAMAS. The factions have since met periodically for further negotiations, but they continue to disagree over how to implement the deal and HAMAS remains in de facto control of the Gaza Strip.

In July 2014, HAMAS and other Gaza-based militant groups engaged in a 51-day conflict with Israel — the third conflict since HAMAS’s takeover in 2007 — culminating in late August with an open-ended truce that continues to hold despite the absence of a negotiated cease-fire and occasional violations by both sides. Reconstruction efforts since the end of the conflict have been hampered by Israeli restrictions on goods entering the Gaza Strip and inadequate donor aid. The UN in 2015 published a study assessing that the Gaza Strip could become uninhabitable by 2020 absent a substantial easing on border restrictions. In an attempt to reenergize peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, France in June 2016 hosted a ministerial meeting that included participants from 29 countries, although not Israel or the Palestinians, to lay the groundwork for an envisioned ""multilateral peace conference"" later in the year.


IsraelGaza Strip
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon
Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Israel
Geographic coordinates31 30 N, 34 45 E
31 25 N, 34 20 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Middle East
Areatotal: 20,770 sq km
land: 20,330 sq km
water: 440 sq km
total: 360 sq km
land: 360 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than New Jersey
slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundariestotal: 1,068 km
border countries (6): Egypt 208 km, Gaza Strip 59 km, Jordan 307 km, Lebanon 81 km, Syria 83 km, West Bank 330 km
total: 72 km
border countries (2): Egypt 13 km, Israel 59 km
Coastline273 km
40 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
see entry for Israel
note: effective 3 January 2009, the Gaza maritime area is closed to all maritime traffic and is under blockade imposed by Israeli Navy until further notice
Climatetemperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas
temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summers
TerrainNegev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley
flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 508 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Dead Sea -431 m
highest point: Har Meron 1,208 m
mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Awdah) 105 m
Natural resourcestimber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand
arable land, natural gas
Irrigated land2,250 sq km (2012)
240 sq km; note - includes the West Bank (2012)
Natural hazardssandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes
Environment - current issueslimited arable land and restricted natural freshwater resources; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides
desertification; salination of fresh water; sewage treatment; water-borne disease; soil degradation; depletion and contamination of underground water resources
Geography - noteLake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) is an important freshwater source; the Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world (after Lake Assal in Djibouti); in 2017, there were 422 settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories - 42 settlements in the Golan Heights, 380 sites in the occupied Palestinian territories to include 213 settlements and 132 outposts in the West Bank, and 35 settlements in East Jerusalem; there are no Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, as all were evacuated in 2005 (2017)
strategic strip of land along Mideast-North African trade routes has experienced an incredibly turbulent history; the town of Gaza itself has been besieged countless times in its history; there are no Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip; the Gaza Strip settlements were evacuated in 2005 (2017)
Population distributionpopulation concentrated in and around Tel-Aviv, as well as around the Sea of Galilee; the south remains sparsely populated with the exception of the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba
population concentrated in major cities, particularly Gaza City in the north


IsraelGaza Strip
Population8,299,706 (July 2017 est.) (includes populations of the Golan Heights of Golan Sub-District and also East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after 1967)
note: approximately 22,000 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2016); approximately 201,000 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2014)
1,795,183 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 27.51% (male 1,168,351/female 1,114,902)
15-24 years: 15.53% (male 658,572/female 630,675)
25-54 years: 37.17% (male 1,577,187/female 1,507,793)
55-64 years: 8.46% (male 344,922/female 357,301)
65 years and over: 11.33% (male 421,660/female 518,343) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 44.78% (male 412,644/female 391,275)
15-24 years: 21.25% (male 192,292/female 189,166)
25-54 years: 28.02% (male 246,518/female 256,543)
55-64 years: 3.4% (male 31,961/female 29,119)
65 years and over: 2.54% (male 23,729/female 21,936) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 29.9 years
male: 29.3 years
female: 30.6 years (2017 est.)
total: 17.2 years
male: 16.8 years
female: 17.5 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate1.51% (2017 est.)
2.33% (2017 est.)
Birth rate18.1 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
31.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
3.1 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
-5.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 16.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 17.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 82.5 years
male: 80.7 years
female: 84.5 years (2017 est.)
total population: 74.2 years
male: 72.5 years
female: 75.9 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate2.64 children born/woman (2017 est.)
4.13 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
Nationalitynoun: Israeli(s)
adjective: Israeli
noun: NA
adjective: NA
Ethnic groupsJewish 74.7% (of which Israel-born 76.3%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 16.2%, Africa-born 4.8%, Asia-born 2.7%), non-Jewish 25.2% (mostly Arab) (2016 est.)
Palestinian Arab
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
ReligionsJewish 74.7%, Muslim 17.7%, Christian 2%, Druze 1.6%, other 4% (2016 est.)
Muslim 98.0 - 99.0% (predominantly Sunni), Christian <1.0%, other, unaffiliated, unspecified <1.0% (2012 est.)
note: dismantlement of Israeli settlements was completed in September 2005; Gaza has had no Jewish population since then
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
LanguagesHebrew (official), Arabic (used officially for Arab minority), English (most commonly used foreign language)
Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.7%
female: 96.8% (2011 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.9%
male: 98.6%
female: 95.2%
note: estimates are for Gaza and the West Bank (2016 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2014)
total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 14 years
note: data represent Gaza and the West Bank (2015)
Education expenditures5.9% of GDP (2013)
1.3% of GDP
note: includes West Bank (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 92.3% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 1.5% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 75.7% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 2.75% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
note: data represent Gaza Strip and the West Bank
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
urban: 50.7% of population
rural: 81.5% of population
total: 58.4% of population
urban: 49.3% of population
rural: 18.5% of population
total: 41.6% of population
note: includes Gaza Strip and the West Bank (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
urban: 93% of population
rural: 90.2% of population
total: 92.3% of population
urban: 7% of population
rural: 9.8% of population
total: 7.7% of population
note: includes Gaza Strip and the West Bank (2015 est.)
Maternal mortality rate5 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
45 deaths/100,000 live births
note: data represent Gaza Strip and the West Bank (2015 est.)
Physicians density3.62 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
2.1 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Hospital bed density3.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)
1.4 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 64.2
youth dependency ratio: 45.7
elderly dependency ratio: 18.4
potential support ratio: 5.4 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 75.8
youth dependency ratio: 70.5
elderly dependency ratio: 5.2
potential support ratio: 19.1
note: data represent Gaza Strip and the West Bank (2015 est.)


IsraelGaza Strip
Country name"conventional long form: State of Israel
conventional short form: Israel
local long form: Medinat Yisra'el
local short form: Yisra'el
etymology: named after the ancient Kingdom of Israel; according to Biblical tradition, the Jewish patriarch Jacob received the name ""Israel"" (""He who struggles with God"") after he wrestled an entire night with an angel of the Lord; Jacob's 12 sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who formed the Kingdom of Israel
"conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Gaza Strip
local long form: none
local short form: Qita' Ghazzah
etymology: named for the largest city in the region, Gaza, whose settlement can be traced back to at least the 15th century B.C. (as ""Ghazzat"")


IsraelGaza Strip
Economy - overview"Israel has a technologically advanced free market economy. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and pharmaceuticals are among its leading exports. Its major imports include crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Israel usually posts sizable trade deficits, which are offset by tourism and other service exports, as well as significant foreign investment inflows.

Between 2004 and 2013, growth averaged nearly 5% per year, led by exports. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 spurred a brief recession in Israel, but the country entered the crisis with solid fundamentals, following years of prudent fiscal policy and a resilient banking sector. Israel's economy also weathered the 2011 Arab Spring because strong trade ties outside the Middle East insulated the economy from spillover effects.

Slowing domestic and international demand and decreased investment resulting from Israel’s uncertain security situation reduced GDP growth to an average of roughly 2.8% per year during the period 2014-17. Natural gas fields discovered off Israel's coast since 2009 have brightened Israel's energy security outlook. The Tamar and Leviathan fields were some of the world's largest offshore natural gas finds in the last decade. Political and regulatory issues have delayed the development of the massive Leviathan field, but production from Tamar provided a 0.8% boost to Israel's GDP in 2013 and a 0.3% boost in 2014. One of the most carbon intense OECD countries, Israel generates about 57% of its power from coal and only 2.6% from renewable sources.

Income inequality and high housing and commodity prices continue to be a concern for many Israelis. Israel's income inequality and poverty rates are among the highest of OECD countries, and there is a broad perception among the public that a small number of ""tycoons"" have a cartel-like grip over the major parts of the economy. Government officials have called for reforms to boost the housing supply and to increase competition in the banking sector to address these public grievances. Despite calls for reforms, the restricted housing supply continues to impact the well-being of younger Israelis seeking to purchase homes. Tariffs and non-tariff barriers, coupled with guaranteed prices and customs tariffs for farmers kept food prices high in 2016. Private consumption is expected to drive growth through 2018 with consumers benefitting from low inflation and a strong currency.

In the long term, Israel faces structural issues, including low labor participation rates for its fastest growing social segments - the ultraorthodox and Arab-Israeli communities. Also, Israel's progressive, globally competitive, knowledge-based technology sector employs only about 8% of the workforce, with the rest mostly employed in manufacturing and services - sectors which face downward wage pressures from global competition. Expenditures on educational institutions remain low compared to most other OECD countries with similar GDP per capita.
Israeli security measures and Israeli-Palestinian violence continue to degrade economic conditions in the Gaza Strip, the smaller of the two areas comprising the Palestinian territories. Israeli-imposed border controls became more restrictive after HAMAS seized control of the territory in June 2007. They have produced high unemployment, elevated poverty rates, and a sharp contraction of the private sector, which had relied primarily on export markets.

Egypt’s ongoing crackdown on the Gaza Strip’s extensive tunnel-based smuggling network has exacerbated fuel, construction material, and consumer goods shortages in the territory. The 51-day conflict in July 2014 that HAMAS and other Gaza-based militant groups fought with Israel further depressed the Gaza Strip’s already aid-dependent economy. Donor support for reconstruction and relaxed Israeli import restrictions in 2014 and 2015 have fallen short of postconflict needs, with almost 100,000 people remaining internally displaced because their homes have yet to be rebuilt or repaired.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$315.6 billion (2017 est.)
$306.1 billion (2016 est.)
$294.5 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
see entry for the West Bank
GDP - real growth rate3.1% (2017 est.)
4% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
-15.2% (2014 est.)
5.6% (2013)
7% (2012)
note: excludes the West Bank
GDP - per capita (PPP)$36,200 (2017 est.)
$35,800 (2016 est.)
$35,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
see entry for the the West Bank
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 2.3%
industry: 26.6%
services: 69.5% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 3%
industry: 21.1%
services: 62.5%
note: data exclude the West Bank (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line22%
note: Israel's poverty line is $7.30 per person per day (2014 est.)
note: data exclude the West Bank (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.2% (2017 est.)
-0.5% (2016 est.)
0.8% (2017 est.)
-0.2% (2016 est.)
note: 2.9% excludes the West Bank
Labor force4.021 million (2017 est.)
1.24 million
note: excludes the West Bank (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.1%
industry: 17.3%
services: 81.6% (2015)
agriculture: 5.2%
industry: 10%
services: 84.8%
note: data exclude the West Bank (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate4.3% (2017 est.)
4.8% (2016 est.)
26.7% (2017 est.)
26.9% (2016 est.)
note: data exclude the West Bank
Budgetrevenues: $92.82 billion
expenditures: $102.1 billion (2017 est.)
see entry for the West Bank (2017 est.)
Industrieshigh-technology products (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, pharmaceuticals, construction, metal products, chemical products, plastics, cut diamonds, textiles, footwear
textiles, food processing, furniture
Industrial production growth rate4% (2017 est.)
note: see entry for the West Bank (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productscitrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry, dairy products
olives, fruit, vegetables, flowers; beef, dairy products
Exports$60.6 billion (2017 est.)
$56.17 billion (2016 est.)
$1.955 billion (2017 est.)
$1.827 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, textiles and apparel
strawberries, carnations, vegetables, fish (small and irregular shipments, as permitted to transit the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing)
Imports$66.76 billion (2017 est.)
$63.54 billion (2016 est.)
see entry for the West Bank
Imports - commoditiesraw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, consumer goods
food, consumer goods, fuel
Debt - external$93.02 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$87.96 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
see entry for the West Bank
Exchange ratesnew Israeli shekels (ILS) per US dollar -
3.606 (2017 est.)
3.8406 (2016 est.)
3.8406 (2015 est.)
3.8869 (2014 est.)
3.5779 (2013 est.)
see entry for the West Bank
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$113 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$95.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$312.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$583 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$14.28 billion (2017 est.)
$11.57 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.444 billion (2017 est.)
-$1.348 billion (2016 est.)
note: excludes the West Bank
GDP (official exchange rate)$348 billion (2016 est.)
$2.938 billion (2014 est.)
note: excludes the West Bank
Commercial bank prime lending rate3.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
3.42% (31 December 2016 est.)
see entry for the West Bank
Stock of domestic credit$280.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$257.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.041 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.712 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$98.28 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$79.58 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
see entry for the West Bank
Stock of broad money$223.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$189 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.901 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.538 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 8.6%
male: 8.2%
female: 9.1% (2016 est.)
total: 40.7%
male: 36.4%
female: 60.8%
note: includes the West Bank (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 55.4%
government consumption: 22%
investment in fixed capital: 20.5%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 29.8%
imports of goods and services: -27.9% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 91.3%
government consumption: 26.7%
investment in fixed capital: 23%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 20%
imports of goods and services: -61%
note: data exclude the West Bank (2017 est.)


IsraelGaza Strip
Electricity - production60.44 billion kWh (2015 est.)
51,000 kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - consumption52.78 billion kWh (2015 est.)
202,000 kWh (2009)
Electricity - exports5.2 billion kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2016 est.)
193,000 kWh (2011 est.)
Oil - proved reserves12.73 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
0 bbl (1 January 2010 es)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
population without electricity: 80,930
electrification - total population: 98%
electrification - urban areas: 99%
electrification - rural areas: 93%
note: data for Gaza Strip and West Bank combined (2012)


IsraelGaza Strip
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 3,340,223
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 41 (July 2016 est.)
406,500 (includes the West Bank) (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 10.57 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 129 (July 2016 est.)
total: 3,531,000 (includes the West Bank)
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 76 (includes the West Bank) (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: most highly developed system in the Middle East
domestic: good system of coaxial cable and microwave radio relay; all systems are digital; competition among both fixed-line and mobile cellular providers results in good coverage countrywide
international: country code - 972; submarine cables provide links to Europe, Cyprus, and parts of the Middle East; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: Gaza continues to repair the damage to its telecommunications infrastructure caused by fighting in 2009
domestic: Israeli company BEZEK and the Palestinian company PALTEL are responsible for fixed-line services; the Palestinian JAWWAL company provides cellular services
international: country code - 970 (2010)
Internet country code.il
.ps; note - same as the West Bank
Internet userstotal: 6,521,539
percent of population: 79.8% (July 2016 est.)
total: 2.673 million (includes the West Bank)
percent of population: 57.4% (includes the West Bank) (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast mediastate broadcasting network, operated by the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), broadcasts on 2 channels, one in Hebrew and the other in Arabic; 5 commercial channels including a channel broadcasting in Russian, a channel broadcasting Knesset proceedings, and a music channel supervised by a public body; multi-channel satellite and cable TV packages provide access to foreign channels; IBA broadcasts on 8 radio networks with multiple repeaters and Israel Defense Forces Radio broadcasts over multiple stations; about 15 privately owned radio stations; overall more than 100 stations and repeater stations (2008)
1 TV station and about 10 radio stations; satellite TV accessible (2008)


IsraelGaza Strip
Roadwaystotal: 18,566 km
paved: 18,566 km (includes 449 km of expressways) (2011)
note: see entry for the West Bank
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Ashdod, Elat (Eilat), Hadera, Haifa
container port(s) (TEUs): Ashdod (1,176,000), Haifa (1,238,000)
major seaport(s): Gaza
Merchant marinetotal: 42
by type: container ship 5, general cargo 4, oil tanker 3, other 30 (2017)
total: 161
by type: bulk carrier 29, general cargo 4, oil tanker 16, other 112 (2017)
Airports47 (2013)
1 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 29
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 5 (2017)
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
Heliports3 (2013)
1 (2013)


IsraelGaza Strip
Military branchesIsrael Defense Forces (IDF), Israel Naval Force (IN), Israel Air Force (IAF) (2010)
HAMAS does not have a conventional military in the Gaza Strip but maintains security forces in addition to its military wing, the 'Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades; the military wing reports to the Hamas Political Bureau leadership, which remains scattered throughout the region since relocating from its Damascus headquarters in early 2012 (2015)

Transnational Issues

IsraelGaza Strip
Disputes - international"West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Israel continues construction of a ""seam line"" separation barrier along parts of the Green Line and within the West Bank; Israel withdrew its settlers and military from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the West Bank in August 2005; Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied (Lebanon claims the Shab'a Farms area of Golan Heights); since 1948, about 350 peacekeepers from the UN Truce Supervision Organization headquartered in Jerusalem monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN personnel in the region
the status of the Gaza Strip is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations; Israel removed settlers and military personnel from Gaza Strip in September 2005
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 27,812 (Eritrea) (2016)
stateless persons: 42 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 1,348,536 (Palestinian refugees) (2017)
IDPs: 193,000 (includes persons displaced within the Gaza Strip due to the intensification of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since June 2014 and other Palestinian IDPs in the Gaza Strip and West Bank who fled as long ago as 1967, although confirmed cumulative data do not go back beyond 2006) (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook