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History of Gaza Strip

History of Gaza Strip

What is the history of Gaza Strip?

The Gaza Strip, a small but densely populated territory on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, has a rich and complex history. Here is a detailed overview of the history of the Gaza Strip:

Ancient History of Gaza Strip:

  • The history of Gaza dates back to ancient times, with evidence of human habitation dating back to at least 4000 BCE.
  • Throughout antiquity, Gaza was a prominent city and a significant trading and cultural center due to its strategic location along the Via Maris trade route.

Roman and Byzantine Period:

  • Gaza came under Roman control in 66 BCE and later became part of the Byzantine Empire.
  • During this period, it remained a thriving city with a mix of pagan, Christian, and Jewish communities.

Islamic Conquest:

  • In the 7th century, Arab Muslims conquered Gaza, and it became part of the expanding Islamic Caliphate.
  • Gaza played a role in early Islamic history as a center for Islamic scholarship and culture.

Crusader and Mamluk Period:

  • Gaza was briefly captured by Crusaders in the 12th century but was later retaken by the Ayyubid and Mamluk dynasties.
  • During this time, it served as an important regional trade hub.

Ottoman Rule:

  • Gaza was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century and remained under Ottoman control until the end of World War I.
  • It was an agricultural center during this period, known for its citrus fruit and cotton production.

British Mandate and Egyptian Occupation:

  • After World War I, Gaza came under British control as part of the British Mandate of Palestine.
  • Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt occupied Gaza, and the territory’s fate became closely tied to the larger Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Occupation and Palestinian Nationalism:

  • During the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured Gaza from Egypt and began its occupation.
  • The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) gained influence in Gaza during the 1970s, leading to increased Palestinian nationalism.

First Intifada and Oslo Accords:

  • The late 1980s saw the start of the First Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule.
  • In 1993, the Oslo Accords were signed, leading to limited Palestinian self-rule in parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Hamas Rule and Blockade:

  • In 2007, Hamas, an Islamist organization, took control of the Gaza Strip, leading to a political divide between Gaza and the West Bank.
  • The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007, severely limiting the movement of people and goods.

Recent Conflicts:

  • The Gaza Strip has been the scene of multiple conflicts between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas.
  • These conflicts have resulted in significant humanitarian challenges, with Gaza’s population enduring difficult living conditions.

Current Situation:

  • The Gaza Strip remains a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with complex political, economic, and humanitarian issues that continue to affect its population.


The Gaza Strip has a rich and complex history that spans over 4,000 years. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Ancient History: Inhabited since at least the 15th century B.C., the Gaza Strip area has been dominated by many different peoples and empires throughout its history. Originally a Canaanite settlement, it came under the control of the ancient Egyptians for roughly 350 years before being conquered and becoming one of the Philistines’ principal cities.
  • Ottoman Empire: It was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the early 16th century.
  • British Mandate: The Gaza Strip fell to British forces during World War I, becoming a part of the British Mandate of Palestine.
  • Arab-Israeli Conflict: The region has been the epicenter of repeated battles since the Jewish nation was established in 19483. Egypt held control of the narrow strip along the Mediterranean Sea until 1967 when Israel seized it during the Six Day War.
  • Israeli Settlements: Thousands of Israeli settlers lived in the Gaza Strip until 2005, when Israel withdrew its soldiers and civilians and ceded control to the fragile Palestinian Authority.
  • Hamas Control: Hamas militants toppled the Palestinian Authority two years later and have retained control of the enclave ever since.