Geography of the Gaza Strip

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The Gaza Strip is located in the Middle East (at 31 25 N, 34 20 E) and consists of around 360sq km. It has an 11km border with Egypt, near the city of Rafah, and a 51km border with Israel. It has a 40 km coastline onto the Mediterranean Sea, but has no maritime claims due to Israeli administration.

The Gaza Strip has a temperate climate, with mild winters, and dry and hot summers, subject to drought. The terrain is flat or rolling, with dunes near the coast. The highest point is Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda), at 105 metres above sea level. Main resources are arable land (about a third of the strip is irrigated), and recently discovered natural gas. Environmental issues include desertification; salination of fresh water; sewage treatment; water-borne disease; soil degradation; and depletion and contamination of underground water resources.

Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Israel

Geographic coordinates: 31°25′N 34°20′E / 31.417°N 34.333°E / 31.417; 34.333

Map references: Middle East

total: 360 km²
land: 360 km²
water: 0 km²

Area - comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC, or slightly more than the size of the Bronx, New York (which also has a similar population)

Land boundaries:
total: 62 km
border countries: Egypt 11 km, Israel 51 km

Coastline: 40 km

Maritime claims: Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation

Climate: temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summers

Terrain: flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda) 105 m

Natural resources: arable land

Land use:
arable land: 24%
permanent crops: 39%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 11%
other: 26% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 120 km² (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: desertification; salination of fresh water; sewage treatment

Geography - note: there were 24 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Gaza Strip (August 1999 est.)


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