EXPLAINER: Why is Gaza almost always mired in conflict?

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Gaza Strip has been pounded by hundreds of Israeli strikes from sea, land and air this week, while the enclave’s militant Hamas rulers have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel. It’s the fourth round of major conflict between Israel and Hamas since 2008, with the tiny enclave’s more than 2 million Palestinian residents bearing the brunt of the destruction. The latest eruption of violence has raised the specter of another devastating war and once again drawn international attention to the impoverished, densely populated strip. Hamas has remained firmly in power in Gaza since capturing it in 2007, through three wars and a 14-year blockade.