Gaza’s special history

Page last updated 29 Oct 2015


Gaza has a distinct history, and Israeli policy towards Gaza has been to treat it differently from the West Bank, particularly in recent decades. A fuller account is in The Occupation section Gaza under occupation. But here are some links that place the events there in a longer historical time perspective. Jean-Pierre Filiu, in particular, argues that Gaza has always been central to the Palestinian struggle and that no solution will be possible if it tries to sideline Gaza. His book, Gaza: A History (reviewed in link 3 below) concludes: “It is in Gaza that the foundations of a durable peace should be laid…The Gaza Strip, the womb of the fedayin and the cradle of the intifada, lies at the heart of the nation-building of contemporary Palestine. It is vain to imagine that a territory so replete with foundational experiences can be ignored or marginalized. Peace between Israel and Palestine can assume neither meaning nor substance except in Gaza, which will be both the foundation and the keystone”.

The question as to whether Gaza is still occupied (the answer is an emphatic “yes”) is dealt with in the section Is Hamas to blame? Is Gaza still occupied?


1. Gaza: 5,000 years of strife
By Avshalom Halutz, Ha’aretz, 05 Aug 2014

A brief look at Gaza’s history from 3000 B.C.E


2. Gaza, Victim of History
By Jean-Pierre Filiu, The New York Times Op-Ed, 26 Aug 2014

A more in-depth analysis of Gaza’s complex history.


3. A Gaza Centric History of Palestine: Past, Present, and Future
Richard Falk,, 24 Sep 2015

At the time Filiu’s article on “Gaza, Victim of History” (previous entry) his book Gaza: A History had not yet appeared in English. It has now and Richard Falk reviews it at length, arguing that Filiu convincingly challenges the mainstream view that Gaza is an ugly sideshow of the main Palestinian dramas.


Contents of this section


a) General introduction
b) Timelines and maps
c) From earliest times to the present – introductions and overviews
d) The Palestinian refugees
e) From 1948 to 1967
f) Oslo and after
g) Gaza’s special history

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