Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd Date of Publication: 2014 ISBN: 978-1849044011 Author: Jean-Pierre Filiu

Through its millennium-long existence, Gaza has often been bitterly disputed while simultaneously and paradoxically enduring prolonged neglect. Jean-Pierre Filiu’s book is the first comprehensive history of Gaza in any language. Squeezed between the Negev and Sinai deserts on the one hand and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, Gaza was contested by the Pharaohs, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Fatimids, the Mamluks, the Crusaders and the Ottomans. Napoleon had to secure it in 1799 to launch his failed campaign on Palestine. In 1917, the British Empire fought for months to conquer Gaza, before establishing its mandate on Palestine. In 1948, 200,000 Palestinians sought refuge in Gaza, a marginal area neither Israel nor Egypt wanted. Palestinian nationalism grew there, and Gaza has since found itself at the heart of Palestinian history. It is in Gaza that the fedayeen movement arose from the ruins of Arab nationalism. It is in Gaza that the 1967 Israeli occupation was repeatedly challenged, until the outbreak of the 1987 intifada. And it is in Gaza, in 2007, that the dream of Palestinian statehood appeared to have been shattered by the split between Fatah and Hamas. The endurance of Gaza and the Palestinians make the publication of this history both timely and significant.



‘This history ranks as a masterpiece in the literature of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It tells us the facts, explains both sides of the coin and leaves readers to draw their conclusions. Its timing, of course, could not be better.’ –Sunday Times

‘Jean-Pierre Filiu’s authoritative and well-sourced history of Gaza from earliest times to the end of 2011 fills a serious gap. Even those who know Gaza well will find much in this book to enlighten them.’ –The Independent

‘Superbly researched and well written, Filiu’s work is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand contemporary affairs in the Middle East and the relationship between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people.’ –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

About the Author

Jean-Pierre Filiu is Professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po in Paris, and has held visiting professorships at both Columbia University and Georgetown University. His latest book The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising was published by Hurst in 2011.