For the progress of the Gaza strip in general, and the city of Gaza in particular, there is the need for Israeli approval and loosening of its iron grip over the area it once occupied and continues to control economically and militarily. This is possible only if guns on both sides fall silent and give way to a joint political and economical panel.
The Gaza Strip is located 45 meters above sea level bordering the Mediterranean. Over the last 50 years its population has risen dramatically from 50,000 in 1948 to about 1.2 million in 2002, with population density of between 20,000 to100,000 per square kilometer in certain places, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Half of the population consists of refugees displaced after the creation of Israel. (1)
The old city of Gaza admeasures about one square kilometer and is enclosed by a great wall with gates serving as entrance and exit points. With the rise of population and activity, it spread out on the north, south and east of the old city limits. Places of interest are the Mosque of Al Sayed Hashem, the Mosque of Ibn Marwan, the Great Omari mosque, the Sheikh Abul Azm sanctuary, the the Sheikh Ailin sanctuary, Napoleaon's fort also known as Al Radwan Castle, Tell al Mintar, and the church of St Porphyrius.
The Gaza city is located between Israel and Egypt, and is the principle city of Palestine. The northern suburbs of Gaza are mazes of crumbling buildings and present a picture of overcrowded populace, living in abject poverty. The historic part of the city is located in the heart of the city. The main street named Omar al Mukhtar Street runs east to west from Al Shuja'iyva quarter and extends up to the sea. There are tourist resorts with swimming pools, or facilities for swimming at the beach. (1)
According to its Municipal plan, the city is primarily divided into four areas: Area B, Area C, Area of High-rise buildings, and Tourist area.
In keeping with the civic rules, Buildings in Area B must be situated 3 meters away from the street and 2 meters on other sides. It must be built on a plot admeasuring at least 250 square meters, and must not consist of more than 5 floors, including the ground floor. The building must not occupy more than 60% of the plot.
Buildings in Area C must be situated 2 meters away from the street and 1 meter on other sides. It must be built on a plot admeasuring at least 250 square meters, and must not consist of more than 5 floors, including the ground floor. The building must not occupy more than 80% of the plot.
High rise buildings overlook streets at least 20 meters wide and extend from east to west of the city. The plot must admeasure at least 1000 square meters and the building must not occupy more than 50% of the plot.
The tourist area is located 400 meters to the east of the coast line, and the detail plan is being drawn.
The Gaza municipality oversees