Originally occupied by Egypt, which retains control of Gaza’s southern border, the territory was captured by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war. Israel withdrew its troops and around 7,000 settlers in 2005.
It is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, and between 2007 and 2014 was ruled by the militant Islamist group Hamas. They won Palestinian legislative elections in 2006 but then had a violent rift with the rival Fatah faction.
When Hamas took over in Gaza, Israel swiftly imposed a blockade on the territory, restricting the movement of goods and people in and out. Egypt meanwhile blockaded Gaza’s southern border.
Read more at the BBC