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Gaza: Two Million Strong with Nowhere to Grow

By MER contributor Wesam Afifa
Once again Gaza jumps to the news headlines, but in relation to the demographics this time, including demographics and fertility.
The population of the Gaza Strip exceeded two million last Tuesday. Gaza’s population consists of 50.66% males and 49.34% females.
Maybe such things are normal in different parts of the world. Yet, in the besieged Gaza Strip,  it’s not. Gaza is just a small Palestinian geographic spot, with an area of 360 Km2 and it has the most dense population in the world.
Nevertheless, Gaza is always present in the international and regional agenda, even more than many countries whose geography and demography are hundreds of times bigger.
Needless to say, it is the same Gaza whose Resistance has been fighting the Israeli Occupation and defending the Palestinian people in more than 3 wars waged by Israel. Moreover, Palestinians in Gaza continue to surprise the world with their resiliency and strength of spirit.
Even according to standards in reproduction and fertility, Gaza is exceptional.
Recent NGO reports warn that the legacy of war and the blockade resulted in a crippling environment and ever decreasing quality of life in Gaza, which is not suitable for basic human needs or demographic expansion.
The United Nations reported in 2012-2013 that the population consensus in the Gaza Strip is expected to reach 2.1 million by 2020. But, the population density has reached more then 6,000 people per square kilometer, which means that Gaza will actually exceed 3 million people by 2020.
One comment by a media expert, Hossam Shaker got my attention when he said, “30 years ago, some press outlets used to call the Gaza Strip a ‘can of sardines,’ or a ‘compressed jar.’ This expression was coined when the consensus of Gaza was almost one quarter what it is today.
As for the future of Gaza, it is enough to note that those who are less then 18-years of age, are more than half the population, which is a very high percentage compared to the rest of the world.
The youth of Gaza hold nothing but frustration. They are creative, angry, rebellious, dreamy, inventive and creative. They have great patience and can hold back from pulling the trigger. Simply, Gaza now has a 2 million human appeal, full of energy and surprises.
14793871_1325079037503953_1762054162_nWesam Afifa is a writer, political analyst and Editor in Chief of Resalah media institution in Gaza.
Ariyana Love is an Editor at The Liberty Beacon project and a TLB Director of Middle East Rising news. She is a Goodwill Ambassador to Palestine and founder of an international foundation, which promotes human rights for indigenous people and the Middle East.

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