Gaza’s History of Struggle: From Refugees to Hope for Peace

A Look at Gaza's Decades-Long Journey of Occupation, Resistance, and Aspirations for Freedom

Gaza, a small strip of land on the Mediterranean Sea, has been in the news again after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing hundreds of people. Israel responded with heavy airstrikes and is planning to invade Gaza. This is the latest episode in the long history of Gaza, which has been under occupation and siege for decades.

Gaza became a refugee camp in 1948 when Israel was created in Palestine. Five Arab countries fought against Israel but lost the war. About 7,00,000 Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes. Most of them went to Gaza and the West Bank, two areas that Egypt and Jordan captured. Gaza’s population grew to over 2,00,000 in a few months.

Gaza’s people have never been free. They were ruled by the Ottoman Empire for centuries and then by the British Empire for decades. In 1967, Israel occupied Gaza and the West Bank in another war. Since then, Gaza has faced violence and oppression from Israel. Israel has controlled Gaza’s borders, airspace, and sea access. It has also built illegal settlements and walls in Gaza.

Gaza’s people have resisted Israel’s occupation in different ways. Some followed Fatah and the PLO, which wanted a secular state for Palestinians. Others followed the Muslim Brotherhood, which enjoyed an Islamic state. In Gaza, the Brotherhood gave birth to Hamas, a militant group that took over Gaza in 2007.

Hamas has fought against Israel with rockets and suicide bombings. Israel has fought back with invasions and blockades. The people of Gaza have suffered the most from this conflict. They have faced poverty, hunger, disease and death. They have also faced isolation from the world.

Gaza is a land of struggle and survival. It is also a land of hope and resilience. The people of Gaza want peace and freedom. They want to live with dignity and justice.

Alok Verma

Alok Verma is an accomplished International Reporter at IndiaFocus with a deep-seated passion for global affairs and cross-border stories. With an impressive track record in international journalism, Alok is dedicated… More »

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