Gaza has 40km (24 miles) of coastline, including some attractive Mediterranean beaches which, if located elsewhere, would be prime real estate for tourism.
Although Palestinians use beaches in the north of the strip, large swathes of shoreline are blocked from Palestinian access by the Gush Katif settlement block.
A small number of Palestinians live between the settlements and the sea.
At times during the intifada, a 2km stretch of beach has been the only route linking north and south Gaza. When the Netzarim Junction checkpoint is closed, Palestinians can bypass it along the beach.
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Many Gazans traditionally depend on the sea for a living
They are now allowed to go up to 10 nautical miles out to sea
After settlers leave, Israel will still control coastline as well as land borders
Israel plans to build barrier into the sea at Gaza border