A strategically important coastal region, throughout history the Gaza Strip fell under
the successive rule of various nations, including but not limited to the Philistines,
Babylonians, Greeks, Israelites, Romans, Mamluks, and Ottomans under whose sway Gaza remained for four centuries until the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire following World War I.
Gaza itself was a settlement about three miles from the Mediterranean c oast, marking the southern border of ancient, Biblical, Canaan. Its original inhabitants were a group of people known as the Avvites.
It was the only city in its area to oppose Alexander the Great during 332 BCE. Later on, it was an outpost of the Ptolemies, who were the ruling power in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. The city was subsequently attacked and reconquered by Jonathan the Hasmonean, brother of Judah the Maccabee, during 145 BCE. During the time of Hasmonean rule, Jews enjoyed sovereignty over the area Gaza, and the land, conquered by the men of the tribe of Judah, was included in the allotment given to that tribe (Josh. 15:47). It remained in their possession until the beginning of the 12th century BCE, when it became occupied by the Philistines.
Gaza became part of the Philistine Pentapolis, the southern-most city in a league of
five cities. stretching to Atlit. As part of the Philistine Pentapolis, Gaza played an important role in the story of Samson and his miraculous feats of strength. Samson perished in the Temple of Dagon while slaughtering his enemies.
However, with the weakening of Egyptian support for the Philistines, the enemy finally submitted to David, who knocked off the giant Goliath in battle.
King Herod the Great held the city for a short time, but after his death, it came under
the authority of the Roman proconsul of Syria. It flourished as a Roman city and
remained a center for the Jewish community and the emerging Christian community
throughout the Roman era for close to 1500 years (963 BCE through 324 CE), and continued into the Byzantine period, 324 CE through 1453 CE.
According to histrorical records of the time, Gaza, Tiberias and Zoar were the three centers of pilgrimages in Eretz Yisrael during the Byzantine period.
A large Jewish community lived in Gaza when Muslims invaded the region
some NINE HUNDRED YEARS later in the 7th century, and Spanish and Portuguese Jews were known to have fled to Gaza after the Spanish Inquisition in 1492.
Later still, Gaza and other areas of the Levant came under Turkish occupation for the next 400 years until the advent of WWI by which time it was clear that the Ottomans were no longer able to hold onto their vast conquered territories any longer.
In accordance with the Sykes-Picot agreement, which dismembered the Ottoman Empire
at the end of the war into areas to be administered by Britain and France, the Gaza Strip was placed under British rule.
In 1922, Gaza was incorporated into the Mandate for Palestine under Britain’s tutelage by the authority of the League of Nations.
According to the Mandate, Britain recognized “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and acknowledged that it would “secure the establishment of the Jewish national home” there.
By end 1945, with the end of the First Aliyah as well as the end of the Second World War, the UN Charter of the same year which replaced the League of Nations, formulated Article 80.
Known unofficially as the Jewish People’s clause, Article 80 preserved intact all the rights granted to Jews under the Mandate for Palestine, even after the Mandate’s expiry on May 14-15, 1948.
Under this provision of international law Jewish rights to Palestine and the Land of Israel
were not to be altered in any way unless there had been an intervening trusteeship agreement between the states or parties concerned, which would have converted the Mandate into a trusteeshipor trust territory.
The only period of time such an agreement could have been concluded
under Chapter 12 of the UN Charter was during the three-year period from October 24, 1945, the date the Charter entered into force after appropriate ratifications, until May 14-15, 1948, the date the Mandate expired and the State of Israel was proclaimed.
Since no agreement of this type was made during this relevant three-year period, in which Jewish rights to all of Palestine may conceivably have been altered had Palestine been converted into a trust territory, those Jewish rights that had existed under the Mandate remained in full force and effect, to which the UN was still committed by Article 80 to uphold, or was prohibited from altering.
As a direct result of Article 80, the UN could not transfer these rights over any part of Palestine, vested as they were in the Jewish People, to any non-Jewish entity, such as the “Palestinian Authority.”
Among the most important of these Jewish rights are those contained in Article 6 of the Mandate which recognized the right of Jews to immigrate freely to the Land of Israel
and to establish settlements thereon, rights which are fully protected by Article 80 of the UN Charter.
In other words, the Mandate of 1922 included both Gaza AND the West Bank as Jewish territory. That same Mandate ALSO provided for the establishment of a Palestinian State. It’s name is Jordan today.
It is equally important to note that coming out of the San Remo Peace Conference in April 1920, no part of Palestine was allotted for an Arab National Home or state, since Arab self-determination was being generously granted elsewhere – in Syria, Iraq, Arabia, Egypt and North Africa – which led to the establishment of the 21 Arab states of today, over a vast land mass from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1947, with the British Mandate coming to a close, and under tremendous violent pressure from Levantine Arabs, the United Nations created a further partition plan in which present-day Israel was separated into two countries—one for Arabs and one for Jews.
The plan designated Gaza as Arab territory upon the creation of such a state. The Jews accepted even this double-cross.
While the Jewish authorities accepted the (changed) UN’s partition plan, the Arab representatives and states rejected it, deciding to fight for the entire landmass of Israel instead.
The day before the Mandate’s end, on May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence.
Israel’s neighbors responded by attacking the nascent state and a war ensued. Egyptian forces entered the new state of Israel on May 15 and 16 through the Gaza Strip.
During that defensive War of Independence, when five Arab armies invaded the re-established Jewish homeland with the intent of its annihilation, the invading Egyptian army attacked, conquered and occupied Gaza.
The town, together with the newly created Gaza Strip, was put under Egyptian
administration by the armistice agreement of 1949.
The influx of Arab refugees, who were told by the Arab aggressors that they could soon return after the Jews “were driven into the sea,” later swelled the city’s population at least fourfold.
Bear in mind that most of the Arabs living in what became the modern State of Israel only arrived in the middle to late 1920s to escape economic hardship and sundry political persecutions by their own people.
In 1946, Gaza’s population was estimated at 19,500, all Muslim except for 720 Christians.
The 1967 census showed that 87,793 Arab inhabitants lived in Gaza City proper, while only 30,479 lived in the refugee camp created by the Arabs’ call for the annihilation of the Jewish nation-state.
In 2018, while there are now 2 million Arabs living in Gaza, the number of refugees in the refugee camp created by the Arab’s 1948 call for the annihilation of the Jewish state has risen to 5000,000 souls spread over EIGHT refugee camps (sic).
The reader may form her/his own conclusions.
Also in 2018, Gaza is still home to the still-active Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius established in 5CE (200 years BEFORE the Islamic invasion of the Levant) and known to the Christian world by the journey St. Philip made there after baptising the Ethiopian eunuchs. For their part, while the number of Muslim “refugees has increased by 1,566 PERCENT, the number of Christians in Gaza increased by 544 individuals.
No jews live in Gaza any longer.
But, back to the history: during the war, all of Gaza’s Jews were forced from their homes but much to the world’s surprise and the Arabs’ dismay, Israel came out of the war victorious.
The Gaza Strip’s borderline today is the LEGAL product of the 1949 Egyptian-Israeli Armistice Agreement, which ended hostilities and created an interim border between the two neighbors.
On 6th April 2018, Christopher Caldwell published an article in The Weekly Standard purportedly discussing the legitimacy of Israel’s Gaza border. While he raised the issue, he did not unequivocally say whether the border was legitimate or not but rather that both the “Palestinians” and the Israelis were doing what they thought was right: “The Palestinians are not out protesting because…they’re bad people. They are protesting because the believe the land behind the border they are facing has been stolen. They are making the case the only way they can. The IDF is rebutting it the only way it can.”
From what I have set out above, the reader will see that the thesis of a mythical Arab “Palestine” as far as the Gazans and Hamas are concerned are not now, nor have they ever been, either truthful OR accurate. Then there is the claim of “Palestine” from Arabs in Judea and Samaria which could also bear further scrutiny in a future article.
Suffice it to say that what a gullible west wants to believe about a “Paelstinian” cause is nothing more than the cynical application of The Doctrine of Limited Liability whereby an aggressor may reject a compromise settlement and gamble on war to wineverything in the comfortable knowledge that, even if he fails, he may insist on reinstating the status quo ante.
This is changing.
Today, as Israel celebrates 70 years of independence, I believe that that doctrine is being increasingly challenged by increasing numbers of sovereign states hithertho politically supportive only of the “Palestinian” “cause”.
Yom Ha’atzmaut sameach le koolanu!!