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The Gaza Strip


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Trauma & Violence; The Setting: Geography, Climate, Wildlife & Ecology; Egyptians, Hebrew & Philistines; Persians, Greeks & Romans; Freedom of Religion & the Rise of Christianity; Arabs & Crusaders, 634-1193; Tartars, Mongols & Mamluks; Ottoman Conquest & Rule, 1517-1918; The British Conquest & Mandate, 1917-1948; The Nakba & the First Arab-Israeli War: The All-Palestine Government of Gaza, 1947-1950; Egyptian Military Rule, 1948-1967; Israeli Conquest & Occupation, 1967-1971; Ariel Sharon's "Dirty War": The Beginning of Jewish Settlement, 1971-1972; The Quiet Years, 1972-1986; The Outbreak of the First Palestinian Uprising, December 1987; Economic Warfare & the Rise of Islamism, 1987-1991; Hardship, Delusion & Desperation: The First Gulf War, 1990-1991; Failure at Madrid & Success at Oslo, 1991-1993; High Hopes & New Dangers, 1994-1995; Exit Rabin, Enter Likud, 1995-1999; Barak's Gamble & the Second Palestinian Uprising, 1999-2001; The Return of Sharon: The Destruction of 1; The Death of Yasser Arafat: The Evacuation of the Strip, 2003-2005; Sharon's Departure: The Hamas Election Triumph, 2005-2006; Civil War & the Hamas Takeover, 2007; Operation "Cast Lead", 2008-2009; Epilogue: An Ideological War of Nerves & Prestige; Gaza History Timeline; Index.

About the Author

Nathan Shachar is the Jerusalem correspondent of the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.


"With an unflinching critical eye, in which the follies of neither side are excused, this shrewd and seasoned reporter unravels the story of Gaza in its true role--as the crucible of the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy." --Alexander Linklater, Prospect Magazine

"It is a fascinating book, which takes no sides but makes good use of all kinds of sources: from personal experiences to official data to street gossip. Some of the protagonists occasionally behave decently, but mostly, they behave appallingly. Few stand for liberty or democracy. But the book makes me understand the reasoning of both sides, hostages as they are to ideologies and beliefs. I recommend it strongly to any reader who feels the need for an analysis of the Gazan tangle and of the spiral of senseless violence that defines the lot of men in this region. Gaza is shown here as a part of Palestine and the Middle East, in all its dependency on big power politics and on the good or ill will of its powerful neighbors, the Israelis and the Egyptians." --Jan Szeminsky, professor of history, Hebrew University-Jerusalem

"Nathan Shachar conveys his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Gaza Strip by means of a moving and entertaining narrative which escorts the reader through the turbulent annals of the Middle East's most cursed flashpoint." --Ramy Wurgaft, El Mundo

"This is a balanced account of the history and politics of the Gaza Strip, which is now considered to be little more than a besieged prison camp by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, but has long been a 'highway of armies.' The focus is largely on the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, with the main sources for post-1975 events being the author's own reportorial notes, memories, and contacts dating from when he was a correspondent in the area, but the narrative also covers events from the times of ancient Egypt through the British mandate. The narrative is current through to 'Operation Cast Lead, ' the 2008-2009 Israeli military assault on Gaza, which the author correctly sees as having deliberately blurred the distinction between civilians and combatants and utilized an 'overkill volume of fire.'" --Reference & Research Book News

"This brief historical account of the Gaza Strip will provide more than enough background for readers, especially those not particularly familiar with Middle East Politics, to understand the current conflict. The author, a Buenos Aires-based journalist for a Swedish newspaper, begins his narrative with the period of the Egyptians, ancient Hebrews, and Philistines, progressing through the Greeks, Persians, and Romans. The early Christians, the Arabs, and the Crusaders are followed by succeeding invasions by the Tartars, Mongols, and the Mamluks. Modern history of the area is dated from the period of the Ottoman Turks, who were removed by the British after World War I. All this leads up to the contemporary period and the establishment of Israel and its continued difficulties with the Palestinians and the Egyptians, both of whom will share leadership of the Strip. Several chapters deal with Israeli-Palestinian relations, primarily the Palestinian attacks on Israeli citizens. This is an exemplary source on the Gaza Strip that can be read in a single sitting to get up to speed in understanding its current control by Hamas and its terrorist implications." --Choice

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