Life at the Crossroads: History of Gaza

Gerald Butt

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Life at the Crossroads gives the rich history of Gaza from ancient times until the present. The strategic importance of the area geographically is addressed as a crossroads of culture. The role of Gaza in the current conflict with Israel is analyzed in its historical context. The book culminates with the two intifadas and the Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-09, explaining the territory’s association with the development of the Islamic movement within the Palestinian community.

This book reveals the rich history of Gaza. Continuously inhabited for more than 3,000 years at a key strategic crossroads of the region, it has witnessed the rise and fall of dozens of kingdoms and dynasties. As well as considering the early period, the age of the Pharaohs and the Philistines of the Bible, Life At The Crossroads includes accounts 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 British Mandate and the conflicts with Israel.

GERALD BUTT was born and brought up in the Middle East. He is a former BBC Middle East correspondent, based first in Beirut and then in Jerusalem. He has since been editor of Al-Mushahid Al-Siyassi in London and Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) in Cyprus. He has written five books and presented three BBC radio series on the Middle East. Based in Nicosia, he continues to write and broadcast about the region.


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