The Gaza Strip: Background information when reading I Shall Not Hate

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I Shall Not Hate

A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity

by Izzeldin Abuelaish

I Shall Not Hate
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2011, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2012, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
The Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip is the smaller of the two Palestinian territories (the West Bank being the larger). It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the east, and by Egypt in the southwest, with Israel surrounding it on all other sides. It is just 25 miles long and 7.5 miles across at its widest (map). This narrow strip of land is home to approximately 1.6 million people who are mostly Sunni Muslim. While the population is highly literate (92% of residents can read), over two-thirds are considered refugees, unemployment is approximately 40% (2010), and about 70% live below the poverty line (2009).

Gaza Strip map The area's present boundaries were formed after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, but human settlement dates back at least 5000 years.  It's been a key territory throughout the millennia and has changed hands many times.  What is now Gaza City was originally a Canaanite settlement that traded agricultural goods until economic decline appears to have caused its abandonment...

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