Editor's note: Eight Israelis have died in a recent string of stabbings and shootings, AP reports. And 29 Palestinians have been killed, including 12 Israel has identified as attackers. Local Israeli media said the government is considering several measures to halt the recent wave of violence, including deploying soldiers in Jerusalem to assist police. No decisions have been announced. - Stephanie
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The Gaza Strip (/ˈɡɑːzəˈstrɪp/;Arabic: قطاع غزة Qiṭāʿ Ġazzah[qɪˈtˤɑːʕ ˈɣazza]), or simply Gaza, is a pene-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 includes 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 1.8 million Palestinians on some 360 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 similar to that of Singapore and 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 to freely import or export goods. Sunni Muslims make up the predominant part of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.
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.