Gaza population hits two million with baby Waleed

The territory has been unable to upgrade basic infrastructure needed for a growing demographic as an Israeli-enforced blockade has been in place for the past ten years.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Bombs, constant gunfire and food scarcity are some of the challenges faced by Palestinians living in the occupied territories. [File photo]

The birth of a baby boy named Waleed officially marks the two-millionth person to be born in Gaza, the Hamas-run interior ministry said Wednesday. The 2,000,001st person, a girl named Lana, was born shortly afterwards.

The population of Gaza is confined to a mere 365-squared-kilometres. The territory could be "unlivable" by 2020, a report by the UN said last year. This is due in large part to "high-population density and overcrowding." Social and economic conditions in Gaza today are currently "at their lowest point since 1967," when Israel seized the territory from Egypt in the Six-Day War, the report said. 

"There are now more than two million residents in the Gaza Strip after the baby Waleed Shaath was born last night [Tuesday] in Rafah in southern Gaza," interior ministry spokesman Iyad Bezm said. The ministry said the population of Gaza Strip was now 50.66 percent male and 49.34 percent female.

 A 2016 report by the United Nations Relief and Works agency for Palestine found the people of Gaza continue to struggle with electricity and fuel shortages, food insecurity and extreme water pollution. Violence and bombings add to the daily stress of residents.

The Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) says 1,977 Palestinian children have been killed since 2000. At least 533 children have  been killed in Gaza alone since the conflict between Isreal and Palestine intensified two years ago.

Gaza has been under an Israeli-enforced blockade for the past ten years. 

Israel argues the blockade is necessary to prevent the entry of material that could be used for violence by militants, though UN officials have called for it to be lifted. 

TRTWorld and agencies