June 30, 1994

DATA ON THE GAZA AREA

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

IDF Spokesman

The Civil Administration in Gaza has been disbanded, and a civil affairs liaison facility set up at the Erez checkpoint. The purpose of this installation is to coordinate those services still being provided by Israel to the Palestinian autonomous area. These services include infrastructure, such as electricity, water and telephone; agricultural and industrial import/export services; and other emergency services, such as medical supplies and hospitalization in Israeli hospitals.

While Israel will continue to coordinate and supply these services until the Palestinian Authority requests otherwise, the financing of services as of June 1 will be the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority. The Civil Administration paid for all costs through the month of May, including the salaries of Palestinian workers. Other items, such as various medical supplies, were stocked for three months beyond the scheduled transfer of responsibility.

The basic Civil Administration infrastructure remained, in order to serve as a basis for the activities of the autonomous administration. The Civil Administration transferred to the Palestinians a sophisticated computer system which is designed to aid in routine management.

DATA FOR THE GAZA AREA

Area: The Gaza area is 365 sq km in area.

Population: Some 770,000 Palestinians reside in the Gaza area, most of them in urban centers (60 percent). There are approximately 395,000 refugees in Gaza, half of whom live in eight refugee camps, with the remainder living outside the camps. The natural birthrate stands at 5.6 percent a year, with approximately 82 percent of the population under the age of 35.

Employment: Part of Gaza’s residents are employed within the Gaza area itself, while others are employed in Israel. The Israeli government and the Civil Administration invested 84 million NIS in 1993 in job creation initiatives in the Gaza area. Approximately 7,600 residents were employed by the Civil Administration in the fields of health and education.

Education: There are approximately 225,000 students in 307 educational institutions in Gaza. Some 5,000 students attend the institutions of higher education founded since 1967. In 1993, five schools were built (an addition of 87 classes) and 41 classes were added in existing schools. 40 school buildings were renovated.

Health: There are five government hospitals and one private hospital in the Gaza area as well as 43 clinics. The Civil Administration invested approximately 9 million NIS over the past few years in construction and improvement of the health care system in the Gaza area: outpatient clinics were built in the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis, a clinic was built in Suija, an administration wing was built and renovation work carried out in Shifa Hospital, and clinics were renovated in various places in the Gaza area.

Construction and Roads: The construction of the Beit Hanun industrial area has almost been completed. Construction has begun on the Dir-el-Balah industrial area. The Shar’a and Magistrates courts in Rafiah have been completed, and two other courts are being built. Many roads have been paved and pavements laid in towns and refugees camps, at a cost of some 25 million NIS.

Electricity: The Israel Electric Company supplies electricity to the municipalities and local councils in bulk from three transmission stations within Israel. Approximately 98 percent of the population is connected to the electricity grid.

Water and Sewage: The large number of private wells in the Gaza area makes it almost impossioble to control the level of pumping from the two underground aquifers which supply the region. Such excess pumping accounts for a 33 percent water deficit in the aquifers, an improvement over 1967 when the deficit stood at approximately 50 percent. This reduction in the deficit was made possible through the introduction of advanced irrigation techniques and other efficiency improvement measures. A reverse osmosis desalination plant was set up in Dir-el-Balah, water networks were installed and new water lines were laud. Oxygenation ponds were completed in the Rafiah district, and another pool was added to the oxygenation ponds in Jabaliya in order to increase their capacity. Many projects were completed, improving the existing infrastructure and connecting new sewage networks.

Telecommunications: In 1993 substantial investment was made in the telephone network and exchanges. More than 16,000 lines from six automated telephone exchanges have been installed.