The Gaza Strip (/ˈɡɑːzəˈstrɪp/;Arabic: قطاع غزة Qiṭāʿ Ġazzah[qɪˈtˤɑːʕ ˈɣazza]), or simply Gaza, is an exclave region of the State of Palestine on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea that borders Egypt on the southwest for 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) and Israel on the east and north along a 51 km (32 mi) border. Gaza is part of the Palestinian territories, which also include the West Bank and are claimed by the State of Palestine.
The territory is 41 kilometers (25 mi) long, and from 6 to 12 kilometers (3.7 to 7.5 mi) wide, with a total area of 365 square kilometers (141 sq mi). With around 1.85 million Palestinians on some 365 square kilometers, Gaza is among the regions with the highest population density in the world. Moreover, a substantial part of the territory is depopulated because of the imposition of a large buffer zone, maintained by Israel within the Gaza border. If Gaza city itself is compared, the density is half of the population density of New York City, and similar to the density of numerous US cities like Boston, or that of Singapore or Hong Kong, with the difference that Hong Kong's wealth permits it to maintain a far higher standard of living. Gaza has an annual population growth rate of 2.91% (2014 est.), the 13th highest in the world, and is often referred to as overcrowded. Due to the Israeli–Egyptian blockade, the population is not free to leave or enter the Gaza Strip, nor allowed to freely import or export goods. Sunni Muslims make up the predominant part of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.
Despite the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza, the United Nations, International human rights organisations, and the majority of governments and legal commentators consider the territory to be still occupied by Israel, supported by additional restrictions placed on Gaza by Egypt. Israel maintains direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza: it controls Gaza's air and maritime space, and six of Gaza's seven land crossings. It reserves the right to enter Gaza at will with its military and maintains a no-go buffer zone within the Gaza territory. Gaza is dependent on Israel for its water, electricity, telecommunications, and other utilities.
After a violent intra-Palestinian battle in 2007 followed by Hamas' takeover of Gaza and the expulsion of Fatah-allied officials and security members from Gaza, Hamas established a Hamas Government in place of the Palestinian Authority Government appointed by President Abbas.