What is GAZA?


Here is an overview of the geographical history of Gaza:

The known history of Gaza spans 4,000 years.

Originally a Canaanite settlement, Gaza came under the control of the ancient Egyptians for roughly 350 years. During this period, it became one of the principal cities of the Philistines.

Around 730 BC, Gaza became part of the Assyrian Empire. Later, Alexander the Great besieged and captured the city in 332 BC, leading to the resettlement of nearby Bedouins. It then shifted hands between the Seleucids of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt.

 In 96 BC, the Hasmoneans conquered  Gaza. The city was rebuilt by Roman General Pompey Magnus and subsequently granted to Herod the Great.

Throughout the Roman period, Gaza thrived. It had a diverse population of Greeks, Romans, Jews, Egyptians, Persians, and Nabateans. The city received grants from several different emperors.

The city embraced Christianity under Saint Porphyrius, who destroyed its eight pagan temples between 396 and 420 AD.

In 637 AD, the Muslim general Amr ibn al-'As conquered Gaza, and most Gazans adopted Islam during early Muslim rule.

Gaza witnessed various rulers, including the Crusaders, Mamluks, and the Ottoman Empire. The 16th centurymarked a golden age under the Ottoman-appointed Ridwan dynasty.

In the 20th century, Gaza grew significantly under Mandatory rule. It became a center of political activism during the First Intifada. After the Oslo Accords, it fell under the direct control of the Palestinian Authority. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

    Today, Gaza lies on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Egypt to the southwest and Israel to the east and north. It emerged as a refuge for Palestinians who fled or were expelled during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. 

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