10 Facts About Gaza

  • Buffalo, located in western New York state near the Canadian border has a total area of approximately 136.5 square miles (353.5 km²). It has a population of 274,618 (2023).
  • The city is Bristol, located in the south-west of England has a total area of approximately 142.6 square miles (369.7 km²). It has a population of 472,465 (2021).
  • The city is Toulouse, located in southwestern France has a total land area of approximately 139 square miles. It has a population of 500,000 (2021).

Gaza meanwhile has a total area of 141 square miles (365 km2), including the buffer zone between Gaza and Israel.

It has a population of 2 million (2023) and is blocked in by closed borders to Israel in the north and east and Egypt in the south.

There is no route out by the sea to the west given the Israeli naval blockade, and has been under a land, air and sea blockade since 2005 (17+ years).

10 Key Facts:

1. Gaza has a population of 2 million, living inside a 60-kilometre wall, often called the world’s largest open-air prison.

2. Gaza has an unemployment rate of over 49%+, according to UNCTAD. This is not because it lacks engineers, doctors and teachers, etc., but because of limited economic opportunities, due to the debilitating blockade.

3. 80 percent of the population rely on humanitarian aid, according to UNRWA.

4. Less than 4% of fresh water is drinkable in Gaza, according to Oxfam. Put simply, 96% is not safe for consumption, according to UNICEF.

5. Cancer is the second most common cause of death exceeded only by heart disease, and is in part due to Israel’s unlawful use of White Phosphorus in Gaza. Medicines are often prohibitively expensive, if not unavailable altogether.

6. Gaza’s electricity was bad before 2014. It became worse after Israel bombed a major power plant (in violation of protocol 1 of the 1949 Geneva Convention).

7. Despite the lack of electricity (4 hours daily), children use candles to study and very many bright students have emerged over the years.

A key challenge therefore, is to secure funding to finance their local or overseas education.

8. The fishing zone is officially 10 nautical miles or 18 kilometres (but in reality, it is a lot less). With the 25-mile seawater coastline around Gaza severely polluted due to untreated sewage being dumped into sea (because water and sewage plants were bombed by Israeli fighter jets), most of the edible fish can only be found 14 kilometres at sea, but violating the fishing zone means targeted firing from Israeli gunships.

9. Egypt too, retains a bizarre stranglehold on the Gaza-Rafah border, restricting the movement of people and goods, to and from Gaza.

10. Oxfam, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, UN Human Rights Commissioner and countless others have each – condemned the inhumane land, sea and air blockade in the strongest possible terms.

Nothing changes.