Gaza Strip: its History and Politics - from the Pharaohs to the Israeli Invasion of (Hardback)
  • Gaza Strip: its History and Politics - from the Pharaohs to the Israeli Invasion of (Hardback)
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Gaza Strip: its History and Politics - from the Pharaohs to the Israeli Invasion of (Hardback)

(author)
£42.50
Hardback 206 Pages / Published: 03/12/2009
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Few areas on earth have more history, ancient and present, per inch of its territory than the Gaza Strip. In antiquity Gaza was a horn of plenty, the hub of fabulous networks of desert and maritime trade. Egyptian, Persian and Assyrian emperors fought over it, and so did Alexander the Great, Richard the Lionheart, Saladdin and Napoleon. More recently Gaza's fame has been of quite a different kind -- a place of crisis, anguish and misery. Since 170,000 Palestinian refugees arrived there in 1948, and the Strip became one more piece in the intractable Middle Eastern puzzle, it has gone through a succession of bloody upheavals: passing from Egyptian to Israeli to PLO to Hamas rule,- all the while remaining a volatile geopolitical flashpoint. Apart from separating between Israel and the refugees in the south-western corner of Palestine, the Strip's borders coincide with other momentous fault-lines: between Islamism and secularism, tradition and modernity, East and West -- and between the comfortable first and the wretched third world. Nathan Shachar is a veteran correspondent who has covered Gazan affairs for more than three decades. He has personally witnessed much of the turmoil which has made the Gaza Strip a permanent item of news bulletins for sixty years. This book relates the Gaza Strip's rich and tumultuous history in a highly readable text, which includes time-lines for all major events and personalities (from the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III to Hamas leader Ismai'l Haniye). It brings perspective to the recent Israeli invasion of the Strip and its political and social aftermath.

Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
ISBN: 9781845193447
Number of pages: 206
Weight: 482 g
Dimensions: 152 x 229 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"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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