Al Jazeera spoke to Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip about life in the territory under occupation.

By Walaa Ghussein and

Mohammed Haddad

Gaza:

A life under occupation

AN @AJLabs VIDEO ESSAY

In July 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared

that Israel would withdraw from the occupied Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli settlers living in settler-colonies in the Gaza Strip would also be forcibly removed by August 15, 2005.

 

Eleven years later, Israel, with Egypt's aid, effectively maintains an occupation of the Gaza Strip, through an absolute land siege and naval blockade.

This means that despite Israel's withdrawal 11 years ago,

the Gaza Strip has remained occupied since 1948, when Egypt took administrative control over the territory following the Zionist expansion across Palestine and the founding of Israel.

 

Decades later, Palestinians have yet to fully realise their nationalist aspirations.

Before 1948, the Gaza Strip was considered a part of Palestine. Tens of thousands of Palestinians lived there, working mainly in agriculture and trade.

Ahmad al-Haj, 82

pre-1948

1948-1967

Land control

        Arabs

        Jews

82,500

Estimated

population (1947)

After the founding of Israel in 1948, Zionist forces expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. Many fled to the Gaza Strip, which was then occupied by Egypt.

 

Abdel Nasser Abdel Bari, 60

Land control

        Arabs

        Jews

454,900

Estimated

population (1966)

127/1000

Infant mortality

rate (1960)

17%

Estimated

unemployment (1967)

In the aftermath of the June 1967 war, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip. During this period, thousands of Israeli settlers moved to the territory to live in settlements considered illegal under international law. The Israeli army also brutally ruled the Palestinian population, eventually leading to the first Intifada, or Palestinian uprising.

Manal Abd Almonem, 49

1967-1994

1994-2005

Land control

        Arabs

        Jews

875,231

Estimated

population (1994)

30/1000

Infant mortality

rate (1994)

17%

Estimated

unemployment (1999)

During the Oslo Accords, the Gaza Strip underwent some economic development and the newly formed Palestinian Authority undertook some administrative duties.

Hassan Murtaja, 23

Land control

        Arabs

        Jews

1,376,289

Estimated

population (2005)

24/1000

Infant mortality

rate (2003)

40%

Estimated

unemployment (2004)

Following the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Israel imposed a brutal land, sea and air blockade, preventing essential food, medicine and building materials, along with people, from entering the territory. Israel’s military has also repeatedly attacked the most densely populated area in the world.

Sarah al-Jamal, 11

2005-2015

Land control

        Arabs

        Jews

1,869,055

Estimated

population (2015)

22/1000

Infant mortality

rate (2013)

43%

Estimated

unemployment (2015)

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© AL JAZEERA MEDIA NETWORK, 2016.