Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt

Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt

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The administration of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 by Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

occurred between 1948 and October 1956, and again from March 1957 to June 1967. Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip but left it under Egyptian military rule as a temporary arrangement pending the resolution of the Palestine Question.

Background



After World War I, the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 granted Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 authority over certain former Ottoman territories, including the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

.
What became known as the British Mandate for Palestine was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 on 24 July 1922 and which came into effect on 26 September 1923.

After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the British Mandate of Palestine came to an end. The surrounding Arab nations were also emerging from colonial rule
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

. Transjordan
Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

, under the Hashemite
Hashemite
Hashemite is the Latinate version of the , transliteration: Hāšimī, and traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashim", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe...

 ruler Abdullah I
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

, gained independence from Britain in 1946 and was called Jordan, but it remained under heavy British influence. Egypt
Kingdom of Egypt
The Kingdom of Egypt was the first modern Egyptian state, lasting from 1922 to 1953. The Kingdom was created in 1922 when the British government unilaterally ended its protectorate over Egypt, in place since 1914. Sultan Fuad I became the first king of the new state...

, while nominally independent, signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936
Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936
The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 was a treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Egypt; it is officially known as The Treaty of Alliance Between His Majesty, in Respect of the United Kingdom, and His Majesty, the King of Egypt...

 that included provisions by which Britain would maintain a garrison of troops on the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

. From 1945 on, 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
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 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
1947 UN Partition Plan
The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was created by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in 1947 to replace the British Mandate for Palestine with "Independent Arab and Jewish States" and a "Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem" administered by the United...

.) In the immediate aftermath of the adoption of this plan, civil war broke out in the former Mandate territory. (See 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine
1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine
The 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine lasted from 30 November 1947, the date of the United Nations vote in favour of the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the UN Partition Plan, to the termination of the British Mandate itself on 14 May 1948.This period constitutes the...

.)

On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

 declared the independence of the state of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, and the war entered its second phase, with the intervention of several Arab states' armies the following day.

Egypt's early gains in the war were reversed when, on 22 December 1948, the Israeli army, in "Operation Horev
Operation Horev
At the end of Israel's War of Independence Operation Horev was a large scale attack against the Egyptian army in the Western Negev. Its objective was to trap the Egyptian Army in the Gaza Strip...

" drove Egyptian forces out of the Negev and encircled the Egyptian Forces in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, forcing Egypt to withdraw and accept a ceasefire. On 7 January 1949, a truce was achieved. Israeli forces withdrew from Sinai and Gaza under international pressure.

On 24 February, 1949 the Israel–Egypt Armistice Agreement was signed in Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

. 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
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, where Egypt remained in control of a strip of land along the coast, which became known as the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. See 1949 Armistice Agreements
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

.

All-Palestine Government (1948–1959)



The All-Palestine Government
All-Palestine Government
The All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Shortly thereafter, an Arab-Palestinian Congress named King Abdullah I of Transjordan, "King of Arab Palestine"...

(Arabic: حكومة عموم فلسطين Hukumat 'umum Filastin) was an entity established by the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 on 22 September 1948, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, purportedly to provide a Palestinian government for Palestine.

According to Avi Shalim:
[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.


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 removed to Cairo, and had little or no influence over events in Gaza.

Economic Conditions


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. 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 povertystricken people have been physically confined to an area the size of a large city park."

The 1956 Suez War



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
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 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. International pressure led by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 forced Israeli withdrawal, first from the Sinai, and eventually from Gaza, but Israel was guaranteed freedom of access to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal and action to end attacks from Gaza.

Six-Day War


On June 5, 1967, in an overheated political atmosphere, weeks after Egypt blockaded the Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
The Straits of Tiran , are the narrow sea passages, about wide, between the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas which separate the Gulf of Aqaba from the Red Sea...

 and cut off Israeli shipping, Israel launched an attack against Egypt, beginning the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

. 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, the "land for peace" formula, which called for Israeli withdrawal from territories it captured in 1967 in return for peace with its Arab neighbors.

Egypt-Israel peace


In 1978, Israel and Egypt signed the historic Camp David Accords
Camp David Accords
The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States...

 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
Proposals for a Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...

.

See also

  • List of military occupations
  • Belligerent occupation
  • Military rule
    Military rule
    Military rule may mean:* Militarism or militarist ideology - the ideology of government as best served when under military control* Military occupation, when a country or area is occupied after invasion.** List of military occupations...

  • Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan

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