The area is not recognized internationally as part of any sovereign country but is claimed by the Palestinian National Authority as part of the Palestinian territories. Since the June 2007 battle of Gaza, actual control of the area is in the hands of the Hamas de facto government.
In February 2005, the Israeli government voted to implement a unilateral disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip. The plan began to be implemented on 15 August 2005, and was completed on 12 September 2005. Under the plan, all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip (and four in the West Bank) and the nearby Erez bloc were dismantled with the removal of all 9,000 Israeli settlers (most of them in the Gush Katif settlement area in the Strip's southwest) and military bases. On 12 September 2005 the Israeli cabinet formally declared an end to Israeli military rule in the Gaza Strip.
key part of Israel-Palestine mess
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