LIFE AT THE CROSSROADS
A HISTORY OF GAZA

Gerald Butt
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
£16.95
ISBN 1 900269 03 1
Rimal 1995


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