Gaza (city)

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Gaza City.JPG
Gaza Skyline (2007)
coat of arms
coat of arms
Administration : Palastina autonomous areasPalestine Palestinian Territories
Area: Gaza Strip
Governorate : Gaza
Coordinates : 31 ° 31 ′  N , 34 ° 27 ′  E Coordinates: 31 ° 31 ′ 0 ″  N , 34 ° 27 ′ 0 ″  E
Height : 15-18 m
Area : 45  km²
Residents : 549,070 (2014)
Population density : 12,202 inhabitants per km²
Time zone : UTC + 2
Community type: city
Mayor : Nizar Hijazi
Website :
Gaza (Palestinian Territories)
Gaza City on the Gaza Strip map

Gaza [ ˈgaːza ] (also Gasa , Phön. Zzh ; Arabic غزة Ghazza , DMG Ġazza ) in Gaza Governorate is the largest city in the Gaza Strip , which has beenunder the administration of the Palestinian Authority de jure since 1994, but has been de facto administered by Hamas since June 2007. Gaza is home to the administrative headquarters of the Palestinian Authority and a seaport on the Mediterranean Sea . The population was given in 2014 with 549,070, 1.4 million people livein the agglomeration . The city extends over about 46 km².


Today's Gaza was built over the ancient city. In ancient times , Gaza was important as a port city. The old city area stretched over 1 km². It was secured by its location on a hill and by a city wall with gates in the four directions.

From Thutmose III. until Ramses IV. Gaza was the administrative seat of the Egyptians in what was then Canaan . The coastal cities of Gaza, Ashkelon and Ashdod were at the end of the 12th century BC. They were still Egyptian centers until they were conquered by the Philistines , perhaps in the course of the so-called Sea Peoples Storm . The Philistines founded a five-city league, the Pentapolis , whereby the supremacy changed in the course of time under the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron (or Akkaron, today: Akir ), Gat (cf. Tell es-Safi ) and Gaza. The cities were ruled by individual princes. When Egyptian rule waned, the Philistines took power. Over the course of several centuries, bitter battles took place between the Philistines, the Israelites and the Canaanites , from the biblical time of judges to the beginning of the Israelite kings. Excavations attest to the consumption of pork during this period.

According to Judeo-Christian tradition, Gaza was the site of Samson's imprisonment and death.

Because of its location at the end of Incense Street , Gaza rose in the 8th century BC. BC to the most important city in the area. In the 8th and 7th centuries BC BC the city changed hands several times. 734 BC The city was occupied by the Assyrians under Tiglath-pileser III. conquered. The king set up a karum in the city . The Assyrians called Gaza "the city on the creek of Egypt" (Nahal Mušur). In the Nimrud prism , Sargon II also boasts of having set up a karum in Gaza . Hanunu of Gaza rebelled against Sargon II in 720. He was deposed, but the city was not destroyed.

609 BC In BC Gaza became Egyptian again, and in 605/4 it fell to the New Babylonian Empire . 525 BC BC it stood in the way of the Persian advance into Egypt, but was ultimately incorporated into the Persian Empire . Under the Achaemenids , Gaza enjoyed extensive autonomy because of its importance for trade with Arabia .

Discovered in Gaza a Zeus / Jupiter statue, Roman, 2nd century, now in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum

When Alexander the Great reached Gaza during the Alexander's campaign , the city offered resistance under the Persian commander, Batis . After a two-month siege, Gaza was captured, the population massacred and Batis dragged to death in a chariot.

After the end of the Alexander Empire , the Ptolemies and Seleucids fought over Gaza until it was 200 BC. Finally came into Seleucid hands. At this time the economic decline of the city began, which lost its role as a trading metropolis not least to Alexandria . The city ​​was founded by Alexander Jannäus in 98 BC. Completely destroyed.

From the Romans , especially the Proconsul Gabinius , Gaza was in the middle of the 1st century BC. Rebuilt a little south of the old town hill. In Roman and Byzantine times , Gaza was primarily famous for its speaking school. Up until the 4th century, the city god Marnas was mainly worshiped in Gaza. It was not until the 5th century that the city became predominantly Christian. In addition, there was a Jewish community in Roman and Byzantine times. In 635 Gaza was conquered by the Arabs . After that, Gaza, which had in the meantime lost its importance as a trading center, became an important transshipment point on the incense route again, especially for trade with Mecca .

The Crusaders under Baldwin I , King of Jerusalem (1100), conquered the city called Gadres. Balduin III. entrusted the city, which was then in ruins, to the Knights Templar in 1152 , who expanded it into a strong fortress. By fortifying Gaza, the Crusaders cut off the fortress city of Ashkelon from the land route to Egypt. Ashkelon was then the last stronghold of the Egyptian Fatimid dynasty in Palestine and was conquered in 1153 . In 1170 Saladin besieged the city unsuccessfully. After the Battle of Hattin in 1187, it was finally handed over to Saladin without a fight in 1188, in exchange for the Templar Grand Master Gérard de Ridefort, who was captured in the battle . In 1192 Gaza was briefly occupied by the participants of the Third Crusade under Richard the Lionheart , but in 1192 it was left to this when Richard and Saladin made peace. In both 1239 and 1244 the crusaders were subject to Muslim armies near the city.

Under the rule of the Egyptian Mameluke dynasty, Gaza became the administrative center for the coastal strip north of Caesarea Maritima . From the 15th century on, there are reports of a large Jewish population alongside Arabs. In 1799, Napoleon briefly occupied the city during the siege of Acre .

During the First World War , the Turks built their first line of defense against the British here, who finally conquered the city on November 7th of that year after a first unsuccessful attack in March / April 1917.

After the First World War, the Gaza Strip and the city that gave it its name were part of the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1948 it was occupied by Egypt, briefly conquered by Israel in 1956 and then under Egyptian administration. From November 1956 to June 1967 the city of Gaza was the headquarters of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I). During the Six Day War (1967), the entire Gaza Strip was again occupied by Israel and held until 2005. All Jewish settlements were dissolved during the withdrawal, but Israel has since exercised control over the external, air and sea connections bordering Israel. After the initial government by Fatah, the radical Islamist Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since then .


Town twinning

Gaza has twinned cities a. a. with Barcelona (Spain), Turin (Italy), Dubai (UAE), Tromsø (Norway), Cascais (Portugal) and Tel Aviv (Israel).


There are several universities in Gaza with a total of 28,500 students, including Al-Aqsa University , Al-Azhar University and the Gaza Islamic University .


Air traffic

Gaza City has a small airport 40 km south called Yasser Arafat International Airport on the border with Egypt. Due to the Israeli blockade in the air and the bombing damage to Israel during the second Intifada, it has not been in operation since then.


The sea port is also restricted or unusable due to frequent sea blockades.


Gaza lay on the Sinai Railway from Beirut via Lod to Cairo from 1916 until this section was closed in the 1970s or 1980s (until 1967). Today most of the railroad tracks in the Gaza Strip have been dismantled.

sons and daughters of the town


Christians in Gaza

The number of Christians in the Gaza Strip ranges between 2,000 and 3,000. The Catholic Church maintains a parish church dedicated to the Holy Family and a school. The faithful are cared for by members of the order who belong to the religious family of the Incarnate Word . There is also a Greek Orthodox Church. The Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem maintains the Al-Ahli-Arab Hospital in Gaza City , the only Christian hospital in the Gaza Strip. St. Philip's Church is on the hospital grounds, the roof of which was pierced by an Israeli rocket during the 2nd Intifada. However, there is no Anglican church.

The interdenominational Palestinian Bible Society , founded in 1993 and headquartered in the eastern part of Jerusalem , has a branch in Gaza City and has been running the only Christian bookstore in the Gaza Strip since 1999 as a joint project with the Open Doors missionary society . In 2006 and 2007, after threats and requests to close it, it was the target of two bomb attacks. In October 2007, the store's manager was kidnapped and later found murdered. In 2008 the Christian youth center was attacked and blown up.

Jews in Gaza

In August 1929, all Jews were expelled from Gaza after Jews had been murdered in violent attacks by Muslim Arabs (see also the Hebron massacre ) and the British Mandate troops had approved the expulsion in order to appease the Arabs. After that, from 1946 to a three-month siege by the Egyptian army in 1948, the kibbutz movement repopulated the hamlet of Kefar Darom on land acquired by the Jewish Agency . In 1970, an outpost of the Israeli army was again established, which became an Israeli settlement in the 1980s . Subsequently, the number of settlements in the Gaza Strip rose to 21, in which around 8,500 Jewish Israelis lived until the settlements were evacuated in August 2005.


Web links

Commons : Gaza  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Gaza (city)  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Gaza- (Gaza, al -'Azzah) ( Memento of the original from July 28, 2012 in the web archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. The Biblical Lexicon: Philistines
  3. Asher Ovadiah: Art. Gaza . In: Michael Avi-Yonah (Ed.): Encyclopedia of archeological excavations in the Holy Land , Vol. 2. Israel Exploration Society, Jerusalem 1976, pp. 408-417, here p. 408.
  4. Asher Ovadiah: Art. Gaza . In: Michael Avi-Yonah (Ed.): Encyclopedia of archeological excavations in the Holy Land , Vol. 2. Israel Exploration Society, Jerusalem 1976, pp. 408-417, here p. 409.
  5. Overview of the Palestinian-Portuguese town twinning , website of the umbrella organization of the Portuguese district administrations, ANMP, accessed on January 1, 2018
  6. ^ Convents in Palestine, Africa And Middle East , website of the religious order, accessed on July 17, 2014. Gaza Strip, three rockets fired near the Catholic parish , Fides, notification of July 17, 2014.