LIFE AT THE CROSSROADS
A HISTORY OF GAZA
The Gaza Strip is a name familiar to millions outside the Middle
East. It is also a name that is synonymous with an image of political
turmoil, poverty, unrest and violence.
This book's direct and informative
style reveals how the scenes of violence and human suffering are
taking place in a land rich in history. The current struggle for
control of the Gaza Strip is the latest phase in a long saga of
attempts to control this south eastern corner of the Mediterranean.
The Palestinians of Gaza have had
to survive the indifference of the world at large and have been
in the shadow of neighbouring regions which have attracted international
focus. Much of Gaza's historical heritage has been forgotten. However,
within these pages unfolds the richness of that history.
Continuously inhabited for more than
3,000 years at a key strategic crossroads of the region, it has
been a palimpsest of influences throughout its existence. As well
as considering the early period, the age of the Pharaohs and the
Philistines of the Bible, accounts are given of the Hellenistic,
Roman and Byzantine eras. The coming of Islam, the interlude of
the Crusades and the long period of Ottoman domination bring the
story up to the First World War. The crucial history of Gaza in
the 20th century is discussed in the period of the Mandate and the
conflicts with Israel. It culminates with the intifada and the prominence
of Gaza in the religious and secular movements dedicated to ending
Israeli occupation and the emergence of the Palestinian state.
Gerald Butt was born and brought up
in the Middle East. After graduating in Arabic and Middle East Studies
from London University he worked for the Middle East Economic Digest
before joining the BBC. He was then Middle East correspondent based
in Beirut from 1982 to 1987 and Jerusalem correspondent from 1987
to 1990. He has previously written four books on aspects of the
region. At present he is a freelance writer and broadcaster.
216 x 138 mm, 208 pages, maps, cased
ISBN 1 900269 03 1