Gaza Strip....geopolitical designation?

  1. Is Gaza a designated territory? Is it actually part of Israel or part of Egypt? And what would the West Bank area be considered? On either one what city and country would be written on the envelope of mail to be cent?
    Thanks in advance for the info.

sent, not cent. sorry

Both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are part of Israel, but they’re Palestinian territories governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA was formed by the Oslo Treaties in the 1990s (don’t know the exact year); it’s sort of a semi-independent government. It has an elected parliament and an elected president (Arafat), it comprises several ministries/departments, has its own police forces, maintains diplomatic missions to other countries (although they’re not technically called “Embassies,” because that would imply a sovereign Palestinian state), but it’s not a sovereign state.

I’d recommend to address mail to “Israel;” addressing them to “Palestine” would imply you’re taking a pro-Arab anti-Israeli standpoint.

The Gaza Strip IS not part of Israel it’s offical status is that it is an Occupied Territory, IIRC Egypt has renounced all claim to it.

The PLO has been recognized as the legitmate but not de facto rulers of Palestine since the 70’s and have observer status at the UN, the PA/PNC have adminstrative responsibilty for the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority is in charge of the Palestinian Post department and issues it’s own stamps.

You should adress it: … Gaza.

Gaza is no more part of Israel than occupied Iraq is part of the U.S.

Gaza is technically not part of any sovereign country. It is part of the former British Mandate of Palestine that has been occupied by, and is under the de facto control, of Israel. But Israel has never formally annexed it (as they have with the Golan Heights, taken from Syria). The Oslo Agreements do not specify what the final status of the Israeli-occupied territories (including the West Bank) will be.

ISO 3166 “English country names and code elements” includes the entity “Occupied Palestinian Territory” (2-letter code PS). This list is produced in close association with the UN, and is widely used by organisations around the world.

As for addressing mail (getting into matters of opinion) I would put “Occupied Palestinian Territory” as the most correct label, and in accordance with ISO 3166. I wouldn’t worry about the Israelis being offended, since the occupied territories must get a lot of mail from the Arab world, which is unlikely to be addressed to “Israel” when an alternative exists. Addressing it to “Israel” would put you at risk of upsetting Palestinian postal workers, but either way, the staff probably see enough of both names. (On the other hand, I don’t really know what delivery services are like in Gaza, but that’s very much outside the OP.)

Here is some information on the Palestinian postal service, if you’re interested. Mail from Arab countries is routed through Egypt, mail from elsewhere in the world via Israel. Delivery is restricted, but “while many opportunities for increased efficiency exist, the vast majority of letters and packages arrive at their destination safely and quickly.”

Incidentally from the same website, that of the Palestinian Investment Promotion Agency, they recommend you write to them in the West Bank at

P.O. Box 1984, Ramallah, Palestine

and in Gaza at:

P.O. Box 4023, Gaza, Palestine

(Although they do seem a little optimistic about Palestine’s immediate prospects for independence and economic growth.)