What is the Gaza Strip? A section of land about twice as big as Washington, D.C.
What country is it in? No country! The territory is disputed. Some say it should belong to Israel. Others say Palestinians should form a state there.
Who lives there? Mostly Palestinian Arabs. More than two million people live in the Gaza Strip. Around half those people live in refugee camps. (A refugee camp is a place where people settle when they have nowhere else to live.)
What do people in the Gaza Strip need? The population in the Gaza Strip keeps growing. People don’t have enough water, electricity, homes, or jobs.
But if you do have a job, what do you do? The Gaza Strip abounds in farms. You might grow citrus fruit, wheat, or olives.
Why does the Gaza Strip face so much trouble? History! “Palestine” once described the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Many different groups have controlled this land through the centuries: Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, the Ottoman Empire, and the United Kingdom. Both Jewish and Arab people have lived there. And they haven’t gotten along. Both groups claimed the land was theirs. In 1947, the land was split. Jewish people were to have half and Arabs were to have half. Things didn’t quite go that way. The new country of Israel got more than half. The two groups have had many battles over the land since. In 2007, the terrorist group Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip and its Palestinian people.
Can people in the Gaza Strip ever leave? Sometimes. Before the war began in October, people in the Gaza Strip could go to Israel to work during the day. They could not spend the night. But after Hamas attacked Israel in October, Israel fought back. Many Palestinians fled Gaza. They had to leave their homes.
Pray that Palestinians and Israelis would have their needs met and that the two communities nations would achieve peace.