Gaza: A History

Gaza: A History

by Jean-Pierre Filiu
     
 

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Gaza has become synonymous with conflict and dispute. Though only slightly larger than Omaha, Nebraska at 140 square miles, the small territory of Gaza has been a hot spot for bitter disputes between sparring powers for millennia, from the Ancient Egyptians up until the British Empire and even today.

Wedged between the Negev and Sinai deserts on one side and the

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Overview

Gaza has become synonymous with conflict and dispute. Though only slightly larger than Omaha, Nebraska at 140 square miles, the small territory of Gaza has been a hot spot for bitter disputes between sparring powers for millennia, from the Ancient Egyptians up until the British Empire and even today.

Wedged between the Negev and Sinai deserts on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, Gaza was contested by the Pharaohs, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Fatimids, Mamluks, Crusaders, and Ottomans. Then in 1948, 200,000 people sought refuge in Gaza-a marginal area neither Israel nor Egypt wanted. It is here that Palestinian nationalism grew and sprouted into a dream of statehood, a journey much filled with strife.

Though small in size, Gaza's history is nothing short of monumental. Jean-Pierre Filiu's Gaza is the first complete history of the territory in any language. Beginning with the Hyksos in 18th century BC, Filiu takes readers through modern times and the ongoing disputes of the region, ending with what may be in store for the future.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 06/16/2014
French historian Filiu (The Arab Revolution) presents a straightforward, chronological history of one of the most politically important and controversial places in the world, the city of Gaza and its surrounding territory. Filiu asserts that it is impossible to understand the essence of the current situation in Palestine without understanding the history of Gaza. Relying mostly on Arabic archival materials and interviews with prominent individuals, Filiu makes the case that Gaza and its history are uniquely Arabic, unlike much of Palestine, and therefore central to the eventual creation of an Palestinian Arab state. He traces the history of the city from its ancient establishment through 2011, with an emphasis on the post-WWII conflict between native Arabs and the new state of Israel. Filiu divides Gaza’s modern history into three periods: the time of mourning after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War; the time of submission after the Israeli occupation in 1967; and the time of the intifada that began in the mid-1980s. The book ends with an analysis of the current competition between Palestinian Nationalists and Islamists for control of Gaza. Superbly researched and well written, Filiu’s work is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand contemporary affairs in the Middle East and the relationship between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"A magnificent piece of historical writing: clear in its exposition, careful in its use of a treasure-trove of new sources and judicious in its analysis of competing political claims to this small and troubled strip of land. It is difficult to see how it will ever be rivaled in terms of scope, intensity and sympathetic understanding." —Roger Owen, Emeritus Professor of Middle East History, Harvard University

"Based on interviews and hard to find documents, Filiu's book is a remarkable work of scholarship that will long stand as the standard history of Gaza. In a subject area strewn with polemic, the author is objective and level-headed." —John Calvert, Professor of History, Creighton University, USA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780190201890
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/11/2014
Pages:
440
Sales rank:
1,359,874
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

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Meet the Author

Jean-Pierre Filiu is Professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po in Paris, and has held visiting professorships at both Columbia University and Georgetown University.

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