Friday, May 21, 2010

Gush Katif Revisited

Having some time to spare between meetings in Jerusalem, I used the opportunity to visit the Gush Katif museum which was established just two years ago.

Most people seem to think of the settlement of the Gaza strip as a recent phenomenon, an outcome of the 6 day war in 1967. However, the museum traces the Jewish communities existence in the strip from way back in 145 BCE.

Below is the chronicle of their history, I hope you find it interesting.

145 BCE Jewish settlements started in Gaza, following the battles of Simon, the Hasmonean

61 BCE Governor of Syria exiles Jews from Gaza

508-9 BCE Largest synagogue built during Roman Byzantine occupation

700 CE Destroyed by Arab conquest

1400-1500 Israel conquered and Turkish occupation begins. At this time, the expansion of the Jewish community begins

1799 Napolean’s failure to conquer Israel affects the Jews in Gaza and they flee the city and settle in Hebron

1835 Egyptian ruler orders synagogue to be dismantled and stones used to build fortress in Majdal (Ashkelon)

1885 Renewed settlement in Gaza as part of wider plan to establish Jewish settlements throughout the country

1910 Jewish school founded in Gaza city

1917 Following outbreak of World War 1, the Turks expelled the residents of Gaza including the Jewish population, thus settlement in Gaza again came to an end.

1919 Jewish settlement again renewed, however in 1929 during the infamous Arab riots, the Arabs of Gaza sought to riot against the small Jewish community. The Jews barricaded themselves in the city’s hotel and the British managed to save them and transfer them to Tel Aviv in the middle of the night. Once again, the end of the Jewish community in Gaza

1946 After Yom Kippur ended, as part of the 11 points in the Negev settlement plan, the settlement of Kfar Darom was established. The kibbutz lasted for 18 months. During the war of independence 1948, the kibbutz staunchly defended against the Egyptian onslaught. In July ’48 the Chief of Staff ordered the abandonment.

1948 War of independence ended with Gaza and its locality from Bet Hanoun to Rafiah under Egyptian control, 200,000 Arabs fled into Gaza.

1956 During the military campaign, the Gaza strip was conquered by the IDF and a Nahal outpost establish at Rafiah

1957 Under pressure from the superpowers and the UN, the Strip was evacuated

1967 After 4 days of fighting the IDF captured the Strip and thus began the chapter Israel’s 38 years of rule
which ended in 2005

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