Travel Guide OOaj Ooaj Travel

Search country or city



Mean gaza?

List of countries
Travel news
Phrasebooks
Travel in Europe
European union
United States
North America
Central America
South America
Travel in Africa
Travel in Asia
Middle East
Australasia

Travel in Europe :
Travel in France
United Kingdom
Travel in Belgium
Netherlands
Sweden
Travel in Finland
Travel in Germany
Luxembourg
Austria
Hungary
Monaco
Italy
Greece
Portugal
Spain

Travel in Asia :
China
India
Indonesia
Japan
Maldives
Mongolia
Nepal
North Korea
Russia
Taiwan
Thailand
Vietnam
Hong Kong

Travel in America :
Bahamas
Canada
Cuba
Haiti
Cuba
Mexico
Panama
Colombia
Brazil
Argentina
Venezuela

Gaza

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in gaza

Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in gaza, Bed and Breakfast!


Flag
Image:palestine-flag.png
Quick Facts
Capital
Government
Currencynew Israeli shekel (ILS)
Areatotal: 360 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 360 sq km
Population1,225,911 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageArabic (mother tongue), Hebrew, English (both widely understood)
ReligionMuslim (predominantly Sunni) 99.3%, Christian 0.7%

Gaza (Arabic غزة, Ghazzah, Hebrew עזה 'Azza) is a Palestinian enclave in the Middle East.

The Gaza Strip is a narrow, 40-km long slice of land between the Merranean to the west and the Negev desert to the east. Egypt lies to the south, the north and east border Israel. The urbal sprawl of Gaza City, mostly stretching along and around the 3-km long Omar al-Mukhtar Street, covers much of the north. The other main towns of Khan Yunis and Rafah are near the southern border. The Jewish settlements of Gush Erez in the northernmost tip, Netzarim in the middle and Gush Katif on the southern coast have the best agricultural land, but most of the land outside the cities is still farmed and Gazan produce like melons and papayas are exported worldwide. The export stuff tends to come from the settlements though, as you can't grow melons in a desert without government subsidies, and getting around EU bans on importing from the Occupied Territories requires a bit of governmental collusion.

Gaza isn't quite the pure hellhole you might expect given TV coverage, although needless to say the birthplace of the Intifada and one of the most overpopulated bits on the entire planet isn't exactly paradise on earth either. A UN report in 1952 stated that the Strip is too small to support its population of 300,000; there are now well over one million inhabitants and the January 2002|latest figures from the Palestinian Authority put unemployment at a whopping 79%. Most inhabitants are Palestinian refugees who fled the 1948 war but were denied entry into Egypt proper.

A bit of terminology disentanglement: Gaza Strip refers to the entire 40-by-6 kilometer patch of territory, much of which has been swallowed up by Jewish settlements. Gaza City refers to the town itself, in the northern part of the strip, but due to huge population growth the City now sprawls into many of the surrounding villages and it's a tough task to say what is a part of the City and what isn't. Both city and strip are pretty much interchangably referred to as Gaza and this guide will follow suit.

gaza Travel Guide :

Gaza

Understand

Image:gz-map.png
Map of Gaza Strip

Gaza has been around for a while: the earliest known reference is an inscription in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, Egypt, dated 1500 BC, which states that the town of Gaza is 'flourishing'. And for a long time it did: a staging post on trade routes connecting Asia and Persia with Arabia, Egypt and Africa, even the name means "treasure" in Arabic. Alexander the Great laid siege to the town in 332 BC, executing 10,000 defenders after being held off for two months. Up next, the town was held by the Romans, the Crusaders, the Mamluks, the Ottomans and briefly even by the French in 1799, when Napoleon Bonaparte set up camp on his way to defeat in Egypt. The Turks took it back, then lost it to the British in World War I. The Egyptian army grabbed it during the 1948 war that led to Israel's independence, opening camps for Palestinian refugees -- and the current situation began when Israel occupied the Strip in 1967.

The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, provided for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Under the DOP, Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, which includes the Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996, as part of the interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and responsibilities for the Gaza Strip and Jericho took place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area and in additional areas of the West Bank pursuant to the Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim Agreement, the Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning Redeployment in HebronHebron, the Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum, and the 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. The DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the transitional period for external security and for internal security and public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Direct negotiations to determine the permanent status of Gaza and West Bank had begun in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus, but have been derailed by a second intifadah that broke out in September 2000. The resulting widespread violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's military response, and instability within the Palestinian Authority continue to undermine progress toward a permanent agreement.

According to the unilateral Disengagement Plan, Israel evacuated all settlements on August 2005 and withdrew its troops by 12 September 2005. Israel also gave up all its claims on the territory and regards the border with it as a frontier. Thus, the current status of the Gaza Strip is rather uncertain, with only Palestinian Authority expected to control and rule it.


Gaza

Climate

Temperate, mild winters, dry and warm to hot summers.

Gaza

Terrain

Flat to rolling, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain

Highest point 
Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Auda) 105 m
Gaza

Get in

At time of writing, getting into Gaza is both difficult and unwise. In fact, as of around 2003, all would-be visitors were required to apply in advance for Israeli permission to enter the Strip. The application is usually submitted through your embassy in Israel and, in theory takes between 5-10 days. In practice, it can take months, and if you're not either a fully accred journalist or an aid/human rights worker, you're unlikely to get permission to enter.

Gaza

By plane

Gaza International Airport (GIA) was inaugurated on 24 November 1998. GIA has been largely closed since October 2000 by Israeli orders and its runway was destroyed by the Israeli Defense Forces in December 2001.

Gaza

By land

The only land entry point into the Strip is at Erez in the north. Getting to Erez is a bit kinky, as you'll need to find your way to AshkelonAshkelon and take a taxi (the distance can be shortened by taking a bus to Yad Mordechai Junction first). You can also, if you've got the money, take a taxi from Jerusalem. This is much faster than the Ashkelon/taxi method and will set you back about NIS200-250. Once through passport control, you'll find plenty of drivers fighting for the privilege of driving you to Gaza City. By the way, at the border be sure to take the VIP line, which you are entitled to through virtue of not being Palestinian. Those you see in the other line have been there since 4:30 AM and will have to return by 5 PM, as Israel only issues one-day work permits.

Note that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Israel is physically in the Gaza Strip, but you can only enter Israel proper through it.

Gaza

By boat

The port of Gaza remains non-operational.

Gaza

Get around

There is no public transport in Gaza, but most any vehicle will gladly turn into a taxi if you point at the roadside with an index finger. Travel up and down Omar al-Mukhtar St. will set you back one shekel; trips elsewhere are negotiable. It is advisable to watch your step if walking, since traffic is chaotic and sidewalks are largely nonexistent.

Gaza

Talk

The standard language is Arabic. Hebrew is also understood to some extent, but will not be met with a favorable reaction; English will be a safer option.

Gaza

See

Gaza is not exactly a top tourist destination and most of its attractions have taken quite a beating during the past 50 years. The following are all in Gaza City.

  • The obligatory Great Mosque (Jamaa al-Akbar) makes up for its lacklustre appearance with an interesting history: it's a converted Crusader church built on the site of a Hellenic temple with pillars from a 3rd-century Jewish synagogue.
  • More educational might be a UNRWA-arranged visit to one of the refugee camps that dot the strip. The UNRWA office is on al-Azhar St, near the Islamic University, call ahead to see if they can arrange a little tour. Your most probable destination is the optimistically named Beach Camp, a warren of concrete huts and open sewers housing 63,000 people, built next to a sandy beach -- and you can walk there on your own, 15 minutes to the north from the intersection of Omar al-Mukhtar St. with the seafront road. UNRWA wisely recommends avoiding military clothing. The Jabaliya refugee camp is also a nearby option.
Gaza

Buy

The inimitable PLO Flag ShopThe inimitable PLO Flag Shop
</a
The inimitable PLO Flag Shop

The local currency is the Israeli shekel.

  • Undoubtedly the most fun thing to do in Gaza is to visit the PLO Flag Shop, a bit tough to find (ask around) but unmistakable once you spot it. It's the place to buy Palestinian flags, stickers, badges, and pennants. It was also famous for the legendary inflatable Yasser Arafat - a truly bizarre blow-up tennis racket thingy emblazoned with a map of Palestine on one side and a familiar fuzzy visage on the other - but as of January 2005, they only had one left, and weren't selling at any price.
Gaza

Eat

Usual Arabic cheap eats are available anywhere. Head to the posh suburb of Rimal for fancier food; the restaurant in the Windmill Hotel is nice.

Gaza

Drink

Due to increasingly strong Hamas influences alcohol is starting to become poorly available. You can still drink at the UN club, which has been a target of Hamas threats and thus bars Palestinians entry. However, be aware that any hint of public drunkenness could place you in a very difficult situation indeed.

Gaza

Sleep

Gaza

Luxury

  • The quixotic Windmill Hotel (http://www.gazahotels.com/members/Windmill_h.asp) (United Nations St., Rimal) is one of Gaza's best hotels, supported largely by the UN employees and Palestinian Authority bigwigs. A little worse for the wear after it was torched in 2000 by a anti-Christian mob though.
Gaza

Learn

Gaza

Work

Gaza

Stay safe

The Gaza Strip is currently an area of conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. Consult your embassy for advise and current conditions before setting out. Travel documentation should be kept in order and close at hand at all times.

Outwardly visible signs of Jewish faith are not advisable, as you may be taken for a settler. Likewise, military clothing may leave you to be taken for a soldier.

Gaza

Stay healthy

Tap water in Gaza is not potable.

Gaza

Respect

Women should dress conservatively, especially if entering refugee camps. Conservatively here means, within Gaza City a top with long sleeves and absolutely nothing low cut in the front. Ideally, tops should also be long. Trousers are suitable as long as they are loose and full length, not capri pants. When visiting anywhere outside of Gaza City, particularly refugee camps in the South, a veil is a must. However you decide to wrap it, make sure all your hair is covered.

Gaza

Contact


Biggest country to travel: Biggest cities to travel: Islands in the top travel 40: World Travel guide Random travel link:
Philippines
Pakistan
England
Bangladesh
Berlin Germany
Mexico City
Dhaka in Bangladesh
Mexico City
Tasmania
Mauritius
Kauai
Maine
San_Juan
Jersey
Falkland_Islands_(Islas_Malvinas)
French_Polynesia
Oman
Slovenia
Romania
United_States_of_America
Great Britain
Portugal
Greece

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0