Gaza


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Gaza,

 

Ghazzah

(both: gäz`ə), or

Ghuzzeh

(gŭz`ə), town (2003 est. pop. 380,000), principal city and administrative center of the Gaza StripGaza Strip
, (2007 pop. 1,416,543) rectangular coastal area, c.140 sq mi (370 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea adjoining Egypt and Israel, in what was formerly SW Palestine, now officially administered by the Palestinian Authority.
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, SW Asia, on the Philistia plain between the Mediterranean Sea and W Israel. In ancient times, Gaza was an Egyptian garrison town (it is mentioned in the Tell el AmarnaTell el Amarna
or Tel el Amarna
, ancient locality, Egypt, near the Nile and c.60 mi (100 km) N of Asyut. Ikhnaton's capital, Akhetaton, was in Tell el Amarna. About 400 tablets with inscriptions in Akkadian cuneiform were found there in 1887.
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 letters); later, it was one of the chief cities of the PhilistinesPhilistines
, inhabitants of Philistia, a non-Semitic people who came to Palestine from the Aegean (probably Crete), in the 12th cent. B.C. Their control of iron supplies and their tight political organization of cities made them a rival of the people of Israel for centuries.
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. There SamsonSamson,
in the Bible, judge of Israel. His long hair was a symbol of his vows to God, and because of this covenant Samson was strong. The enemies of his people, the Philistines, accomplished his destruction through the woman Delilah.
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 brought down the temple on his captors and himself. Gaza was besieged for five months by Alexander the Great and during the wars of the Maccabees and in the Crusades. The town has long been of commercial importance, the meeting place of caravans between Egypt and Syria. The site of modern Gaza dates from the building programs of Herod the Great. Opinions differ on the site of ancient Gaza.

Bibliography

See J.-P. Filiu, Gaza: A History (2014).

Gaza

 

a city on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Population, 30,300 (1958).

Gaza was founded in remote antiquity. From the seventh to the ninth century A.D. it formed part of the Arab Caliphate (under the Omayyad and then the Abbasid dynasty). From the ninth to the 11th century it was ruled by the Egyptian Tulunid, Ikhshidid, and Fatimid dynasties. At the end of the 11th century it was captured by the Crusaders, but, after their defeat by the Egyptian ruler Salah al-Din (Saladin) in 1187, it again formed part of the Egyptian states of first the Ayyubite Kingdom and then of the Egyptian Mamelukes. In 1516 it was conquered, together with Palestine, by the Osmanli Turks, and until 1917 it was part of the Ottoman Empire (from 1831 to 1840 under the rule of the Egyptian pasha Muhammad Ali).

In November 1917, Gaza was occupied by British forces and after the mandate for Palestine was conferred upon Great Britain, it became an administrative center of the mandated territory of Palestine. In accordance with a United Nations General Assembly resolution of Nov. 29, 1947, terminating the British mandate over Palestine, Gaza and the surrounding territory were included in the territory of the Arab state. After the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49 and the conclusion of a truce between Egypt and Israel on Feb. 24, 1949, Gaza and the so-called Gaza Strip (258 sq km) were placed under the administration of Egypt. In June 1967, at the time of the Israeli aggression against the Arab states, Israeli troops occupied Gaza.

Gaza

a city in the Gaza Strip: a Philistine city in biblical times. It was under Egyptian administration from 1949 until occupied by Israel (1967). Pop.: 787 000 (2005 est.)
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However, Hamas militants refused to accept a truce unless Israeli troops retreated from Gaza and allowed the displaced to return home.
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