Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt

The occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt occurred between 1948 and October 1956 and again from March 1957 to June 1967. From September 1948, until its dissolution by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1959, the Gaza Strip was officially administered by the All-Palestine Government. Although largely symbolic, the government was recognized by most members of the Arab League. Following its dissolution, Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip but left it under military rule pending a resolution of the Palestine question.

Gaza Strip

قطاع غزة
Qiṭā‘ Ghazza
1959–1967
Gaza Strip after the 1950 Armistice.
Gaza Strip after the 1950 Armistice.
StatusArea occupied by the United Arab Republic/Arab Republic of Egypt
CapitalGaza
Common languagesArabic
Religion
Sunni Islam
GovernmentMilitary occupation
Historical eraCold War
• Established
1959
• Disestablished
1967
17 September 1978
CurrencyEgyptian pound
Preceded by
Succeeded by
All-Palestine Protectorate
Israeli Military Governorate
Today part ofState of Palestine Gaza Strip

Background

End of British Mandatory rule

After World War I, the League of Nations granted Great Britain authority over certain former Ottoman territories, including the Gaza Strip.[1] What became known as the British Mandate for Palestine was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922 and which came into effect on 26 September 1923.[2]

After World War II, the British Mandate of Palestine came to an end. The surrounding Arab nations were also emerging from colonial rule. Egypt, while nominally independent, signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 that included provisions by which Britain would maintain a garrison of troops on the Suez Canal. From 1945, Egypt attempted to renegotiate the terms of this treaty, which was viewed as a humiliating vestige of colonialism.

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved a plan to resolve the Arab–Jewish conflict by partitioning Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. (See 1947 UN Partition Plan.) In the immediate aftermath of the adoption of this plan, civil war broke out in the Mandate territory. (See 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine.)

On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the state of Israel and the following day the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria declared war and invaded, aided by soldiers sent from Iraq.

After capturing the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Abdullah I took the title King of Jordan. The name of the state was changed to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 1 December 1948 but it remained under heavy British influence.

Egypt made significant gains early in the war, but these were reversed in late December 1948 when the Israeli army, in "Operation Horev" drove Egyptian forces out of the Negev and encircled the Egyptian Forces in the Gaza Strip, forcing Egypt to withdraw and accept a ceasefire. On 7 January 1949, a truce was achieved. Israeli forces proceeded to withdraw from Sinai and Gaza.

1949 armistice

On 24 February 1949, the Israel–Egypt Armistice Agreement was signed in Rhodes. Under the agreement, the armistice line was drawn along the international border (dating back to 1906) for the most part, except near the Mediterranean Sea, where Egypt remained in control of a strip of land along the coast, which became known as the Gaza Strip.[3] (See 1949 Armistice Agreements.)

All-Palestine Government (1948–1959)

The All-Palestine Government was an entity established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948, during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, purportedly to provide a Palestinian government for Palestine. After the War, the Gaza Strip was the only former-Mandate territory under the jurisdiction of the All-Palestine Government. However, the members of the Government were consequently removed to Cairo, and had little or no influence over events in Gaza.[4]

According to Avi Shlaim:

[T]he contrast between the pretensions of the All-Palestine Government and its capability quickly reduced it to the level of farce. It claimed jurisdiction over the whole of Palestine, yet it had no administration, no civil service, no money, and no real army of its own. Even in the small enclave around the town of Gaza its writ ran only by the grace of the Egyptian authorities. Taking advantage of the new government's dependence on them for funds and protection, the Egyptian paymasters manipulated it to undermine Abdullah's claim to represent the Palestinians in the Arab League and in international forums. Ostensibly the embryo for an independent Palestinian state, the new government, from the moment of its inception, was thus reduced to the unhappy role of a shuttlecock in the ongoing power struggle between Cairo and Amman.[4]

Suez Crisis and its aftermath

Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - The newly appointed mayor of gaza
The newly appointed mayor of Gaza, Rashad al-Shawwa, speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Gaza municipal council, 26 November 1956

In 1956, Egypt blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba, assumed national control of the Suez Canal, and blocked it to Israeli shipping—both threatening the young State of Israel and violating the Suez Canal Convention of 1888. France and the United Kingdom supported Israel in its determination that the canal should remain open to all nations as per the Convention.

On October 29, 1956, Israel, France and the United Kingdom invaded the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula initiating the 1956 Suez War. Under international pressure, the Anglo-French Task Force withdrew before the end of 1956, and the Israeli army withdrew from the Sinai and Gaza in March, 1957.

In 1959, as he sought to incorporate the Arab nations as a single state, Nasser's pan-Arab policies prompted him to abolish the All-Palestine Government.

Egyptian administration (1959–1967)

In 1959, the Gaza Strip under the All-Palestine Government was officially merged into the short lived United Arab Republic. All references to an independent Gaza were abolished and Egyptian administration was officially imposed. In this move, Nasser de facto canceled any official Palestinian self-rule. In 1962 the Egyptian government established a Palestinian Legislative Council elected by the population.

When the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964, Nasser proclaimed that it would hold authority over Gaza, but that authority was never conferred in practice.[5] A year later, conscription was instituted for the Palestinian Liberation Army.[5]

Israeli occupation

On June 5, 1967, in an overheated political atmosphere, weeks after Egypt blockaded the Straits of Tiran and cut off Israeli shipping, Israel launched an attack against Egypt, beginning the Six-Day War. It rapidly defeated the surrounding Arab states and took control of, among other areas, the Gaza Strip. International pressure mounted on Israel to withdraw from the territories. On November 22, 1967, the UN Security Council adopted UN Security Council Resolution 242, which called for Israeli withdrawal from territories it captured in 1967 in return for peace with its Arab neighbors.

In 1978, Israel and Egypt signed the historic Camp David Accords which brought an official end to the strife between them. The second part of the accords was a framework for the establishment of an autonomous regime in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Egypt thus signaled an end to any ambitions to control the Gaza Strip itself; from then on, the Gaza Strip's status would be discussed as part of the more general issue of proposals for a Palestinian state.

Demographics and economy

The influx of over 200,000 refugees into Gaza during the 1948 war resulted in a dramatic decrease in the standard of living. Because the Egyptian government restricted movement to and from the Gaza Strip, its inhabitants could not look elsewhere for gainful employment.[6] In 1955, one observer (a member of the United Nations Secretariat) noted that "For all practical purposes it would be true to say that for the last six years in Gaza over 300,000 poverty stricken people have been physically confined to an area the size of a large city park."[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict A Primer". Middle East Research Information Project. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  2. ^ Palestine Royal Commission Report Presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office. July 1937. Archived from the original on 2012-01-27.
  3. ^ Egypt Israel Archived 2014-05-25 at the Wayback Machine Armistice Agreement UN Doc S/1264/Corr.1 23 February 1949
  4. ^ a b Shlaim, Avi (1990). "The rise and fall of the All-Palestine Government in Gaza". Journal of Palestine Studies. 20: 37–53. doi:10.1525/jps.1990.20.1.00p0044q.
  5. ^ a b Feldman, Ilana (2008), Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917–1967, Duke University Press, ISBN 0-8223-4240-5
  6. ^ a b Baster, James, "Economic Problems in the Gaza Strip," Middle East Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Summer, 1955), pp. 323–327.

External links

All-Palestine Protectorate

The All-Palestine Protectorate, or simply All-Palestine, also known as Gaza Protectorate and Gaza Strip, was a short-living client state with limited recognition, corresponding to the area of the modern Gaza Strip, which was established in area captured by the Kingdom of Egypt during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and allowed to run as a protectorate under the All-Palestine Government. The Protectorate was declared on 22 September 1948 in Gaza City, and the All-Palestine Government was formed. The Prime Minister of the Gaza-seated administration was Ahmed Hilmi Pasha and the President was Hajj Amin al-Husseini, former chairman of the Arab Higher Committee. In December 1948, just three months after the declaration, the All-Palestine Government was relocated to Cairo and was never allowed to return to Gaza, making it a government in exile. With further resolution of the Arab League to put the Gaza Strip under the official protectorate of Egypt in 1952, the All-Palestine Government was gradually stripped of authority. In 1953, the government was nominally dissolved, though the Palestinian Prime Minister Hilmi continued to attend Arab League meetings on its behalf. In 1959, the protectorate was de-jure merged into the United Arab Republic, while de facto turning Gaza into military occupation area of Egypt.

There are differences of opinion as to whether the All-Palestine Protectorate was a mere puppet or façade of the Egyptian occupation, with negligible independent funding or influence, or whether it was a genuine attempt to establish an independent Palestinian state. Though the All-Palestine Government claimed jurisdiction over the whole former British Mandate of Palestine at no time did its effective jurisdiction extend beyond the Gaza Strip, with the West Bank annexed by Transjordan and Israel holding the rest. The All-Palestine Protectorate relied entirely on the Egyptian government for funding and on UNRWA to relieve the plight of the Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip. In reality, during most of its existence the All-Palestine Protectorate was under de facto Egyptian administration, though Egypt never made any claim to or annexed any Palestinian territory. Egypt did not offer the Gazan Palestinians citizenship. Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and Egypt were issued All-Palestine passports, and were not permitted to move freely into Egypt. However, these passports were only recognized by six Arab countries.

Arab–Israeli conflict

The Arab–Israeli conflict refers to the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots of the Arab–Israeli conflict are attributed to the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Part of the dispute arises from the conflicting claims to the land. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their ancestral homeland is at the same time regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands.

The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948, following the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral annexation of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem.

The nature of the conflict has shifted over the years from the large-scale, regional Arab–Israeli conflict to a more local Israeli–Palestinian conflict, which peaked during the 1982 Lebanon War. With the decline of the First Palestinian Intifada, the interim Oslo Accords led to the creation of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994, within the context of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. The same year Israel and Jordan reached a peace accord. A cease-fire has been largely maintained between Israel and Baathist Syria, as well as with Lebanon since 2006. Despite the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, interim peace accords with the Palestinian Authority and the generally existing cease-fire, until mid-2010s the Arab League and Israel had remained at odds with each other over many issues.

Developments in the course of the Syrian Civil War reshuffled the situation near Israel's northern border, putting the Syrian Arab Republic, Hezbollah and the Syrian opposition at odds with each other and complicating their relations with Israel, upon the emerging warfare with Iran. The conflict between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza, is also attributed to the Iran–Israel proxy conflict in the region. By 2017, Israel and several Arab Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia, formed a semi-official coalition to confront Iran - a move which some marked as the fading of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

History of the State of Palestine

The history of the State of Palestine describes the creation and evolution of the State of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

During the Mandatory period, numerous plans of partition of Palestine were proposed but without the agreement of all parties. In 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was voted. This triggered the 1948 Palestine war, which established a Jewish state but no Palestinian state. Since then there have been proposals to establish a Palestinian state. In 1969, for example, the PLO proposed the establishment of a binational state over the whole of the former British Mandate territory. This proposal was rejected by Israel, as it would have amounted to the disbanding of the state of Israel. The basis of the current proposals is for a two-state solution on either a portion of or the entirety of the Palestinian territories—the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which have been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Israeli-occupied territories

The Israeli-occupied territories refers to the territories occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 and sometimes also to areas of Southern Lebanon, where Israeli military was notably present to support local Lebanese militias during the civil war and after it. Originally, those territories included the Syrian Golan Heights, the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip and Jordanian-annexed West Bank. The first use of the term 'territories occupied' was in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 following the Six-Day War in 1967, which called for "the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" to be achieved by "the application of both the following principles: ... Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict ... Termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and respect for the right of every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. In addition to the territories occupied following the Six-Day War, Israel also occupied portions of Southern Lebanon following the 1982 Lebanon War, and maintained a military presence there until withdrawing in 2000.

From 1967 to 1981, the four areas were governed under the Israeli Military Governorate, referred to by the UN as occupied Arab territories. The IMG was dissolved in 1981, after the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. In the process, Israel handed the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, the Golan Heights was incorporated into the Northern District by the Golan Heights Law, and West Bank continued to be administrated via the Israeli Civil Administration, which the UN continued to refer to as the occupied Arab territories. Despite dissolving the military government, in line with Egyptian demands, the term Occupied Arab territories had remained in use, referring to the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and Western Golan Heights. From 1999 to early 2013, the term Palestinian territories, Occupied became utilized to refer to territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The International Court of Justice, the UN General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council regards Israel as the "Occupying Power". UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called Israel's occupation "an affront to international law." The Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that Israel holds the West Bank under "belligerent occupation". According to Talia Sasson, the High Court of Justice in Israel, with a variety of different justices sitting, has repeatedly stated for more than four decades that international law applies to Israel's presence in the West Bank. Israeli governments have preferred the term "disputed territories" in the case of the West Bank. Officially Israel maintains that the West Bank is disputed territory.Israel asserts that since the disengagement of Israel from Gaza in 2005, Israel no longer occupies the Gaza Strip. However, as it retained certain control of Gaza's airspace and coastline, as of 2012 it continued to be designated as an occupying power in the Gaza Strip by the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly and some countries and various human rights organizations.

Jordanian annexation of the West Bank

The Jordanian annexation of the West Bank was the occupation and consequent annexation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) by Jordan (formerly Transjordan) in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. During the war, Jordan's Arab Legion conquered the Old City of Jerusalem and took control of territory on the western side of the Jordan River, including the cities of Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus. At the end of hostilities, Jordan was in complete control of the West Bank.

Following the December 1948 Jericho Conference, and the 1949 renaming of the country from Transjordan to Jordan, the West Bank was formally annexed on 24 April 1950.

The annexation was widely considered as illegal and void by the international community. A month afterwards, the Arab League declared that they viewed the area "annexed by Jordan as a trust in its hands until the Palestine case is fully solved in the interests of its inhabitants." Recognition of Jordan's declaration of annexation was only granted by the United Kingdom, Iraq and Pakistan.When Jordan transferred its full citizenship rights to the residents of the West Bank, the annexation more than doubled the population of Jordan. The naturalized Palestinians enjoyed equal opportunities in all sectors of the state without discrimination, and they were given half of the seats of the Jordanian parliament.After Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, the Palestinians there remained Jordanian citizens until Jordan decided to renounce claims and sever administrative ties with the territory in 1988.

Khan Yunis massacre

The Khan Yunis massacre took place on 3 November 1956 in the Palestinian town of Khan Yunis and the nearby refugee camp of the same name in the Gaza Strip during the Suez Crisis.

According to Benny Morris, during an Israel Defense Forces operation to reopen the Egyptian-blockaded Straits of Tiran, Israeli soldiers shot two hundred Palestinians in Khan Yunis and Rafah. According to Noam Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle, citing Donald Neff, 275 Palestinians were killed in a brutal house-to-house search for Fedayeen (while a further 111 were reportedly killed in Rafah).Israeli authorities say that IDF soldiers ran into local militants and a battle erupted. Meir Pa'il told the Associated Press, "There was never a killing of such a degree. Nobody was murdered. I was there. I don't know of any massacre."

List of military occupations

This article presents a list of military occupations. Only military occupations since the customary laws of belligerent military occupation were first clarified and supplemented by the Hague Convention of 1907 are included In this article.

Military occupation is a type of effective control of a certain power over a territory which is not under the formal sovereignty of that entity, without the volition of the actual sovereign, and provisional in nature. Military occupation is distinguished from annexation by its intended temporary nature (i.e. no claim for permanent sovereignty), by its military nature, and by citizenship rights of the controlling power not being conferred upon the subjugated population.

List of predecessors of sovereign states in Asia

This is a list of all present sovereign states in Asia and their predecessors. The boundaries of Asia are culturally determined, as there is no clear geographical separation between it and Europe, which together form one continuous landmass called Eurasia. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma–Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas.

Palestinian Declaration of Independence

The Palestinian Declaration of Independence is a statement written by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15 November 1988 (5 Rabi' al-Thani 1409). It had previously been adopted by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), by a vote of 253 in favour, 46 against and 10 abstentions. It was read at the closing session of the 19th Palestinian National Council to a standing ovation. Upon completing the reading of the declaration, Arafat, as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization assumed the title of "President of Palestine." In April 1989, the PLO Central Council elected Yasser Arafat the first President of the State of Palestine.

Palestinian fedayeen

Palestinian fedayeen (from the Arabic fidā'ī, plural fidā'iyūn, فدائيون) are militants or guerrillas of a nationalist orientation from among the Palestinian people. Most Palestinians consider the fedayeen to be "freedom fighters", while most Israelis consider them to be terrorists.

Considered symbols of the Palestinian national movement, the Palestinian fedayeen drew inspiration from guerrilla movements in Vietnam, China, Algeria and Latin America. The ideology of the Palestinian fedayeen was mainly left-wing nationalist, socialist or communist, and their proclaimed purpose was to defeat Zionism, claim Palestine and establish it as "a secular, democratic, nonsectarian state". The meaning of a secular, democratic and non-sectarian, however greatly diverged among fedayeen factions.Emerging from among the Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled from their villages as a result of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, in the mid-1950s the fedayeen began mounting cross-border operations into Israel from Syria, Egypt and Jordan. The earliest infiltrations were often to access the lands agricultural products they had lost as a result of the war, or to attack Israeli military, and sometimes civilian targets. The Gaza Strip, the sole territory of the All-Palestine Protectorate—a Palestinian state declared in October 1948, became the focal point of the Palestinian fedayeen activity. Fedayeen attacks were directed on Gaza and Sinai borders with Israel, and as a result Israel undertook retaliatory actions, targeting the fedayeen that also often targeted the citizens of their host countries, which in turn provoked more attacks.

Fedayeen actions were cited by Israel as one of the reasons for its launching of the Sinai Campaign of 1956, the 1967 War, and the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon. Palestinian fedayeen groups were united under the umbrella the Palestine Liberation Organization after the defeat of the Arab armies in the 1967 Six-Day War, though each group retained its own leader and independent armed forces.

Time periods in the Palestine region

Time periods in the region of Palestine summarizes the major time periods in the history of the region of Palestine/Land of Israel, and notes the major events in each time period.

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