The fifty-day war on the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014 was far more devastating than previous conflicts. But it was neither unprecedented nor unpredictable, being, in effect, Israel's twelfth war against Gaza. This essay contends that if the seemingly endless cycle of violence is to be broken, the latest conflict must be placed in its proper context: the eleven wars on Gaza that preceded this one and Israel's obdurate refusal to countenance the national rights of the Palestinians or recognize Gaza as an integral part of Palestine.



Avi Shlaim, “The Rise and Fall of the All-Palestine Government in Gaza,” JPS 20, no. 1 (Autumn 1990): p. 37–53.


Neil Caplan, “A Tale of Two Cities,” JPS 21, no. 3 (Spring 1992): p. 5–34.


Benny Morris, Israel's Border Wars (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993).


Henry Laurens, La question de Palestine, l'accomplissement des prophéties (1947–67) (Paris: Fayard, 2007), p. 333.


Joe Sacco, Footnotes in Gaza (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009).


Laurens, La question de Palestine, p. 501.


Majzara qita ghazza (PLO Center for Information and Culture, Tunis: 1983), p.169.


Yezid Sayigh, “Escalation or Containment: Egypt and the Palestine Liberation Army, 1964–67,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 30, no. 1 (February 1998): p. 110.


Report by the UNRWA commissioner-general to the UN General Assembly for the period from 1 July 1967 to 30 June 1968, p. 34.


Eric Hammel, Six Days in June (New York: Macmillan, 1992), p. 218.


Report by the UNRWA commissioner-general, 1 July 1967 to 30 June 1968, pp. 5, 8–9.


Tom Segev, 1967, Israel, the War and the Year that Transformed the Middle East (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007), pp. 531–6.


Jean-Pierre Filiu, “The Origins of Hamas: Militant Legacy or Israeli Tool?” JPS 41, no. 3 (Spring 2012): pp. 63–65.


Jean-Pierre Filiu, Gaza: A History (London: Hurst, 2014), p. 243.


Annual Report 2007, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, According to the 2007 annual report of the Gaza-based group, from 2000–2007, 363 Palestinians were killed by Israel in “targeted raids” on Gaza, with nearly half the victims civilians or bystanders.


Filiu, Gaza: A History, p. 305.


For a discussion of the legal status of Israel in Gaza, see “Disengaged Occupiers,” a January 2007 report by the Israeli NGO, Gisha, at


“Gaza: List of Controlled Entry Items,” Israel Ministry of Public Affairs, 4 July 2010,


International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), “Dashed Hopes: Continuation of the Gaza Blockade,” press release, 30 November 2010, The report was issued by a conference of 22 NGOs including FIDH.


Nidal al-Mughrabi, “Le bâtiment revit à Gaza grâce aux tunnels avec l'Egypte,” Reuters, 25 December 2011.


Gideon Levy, “For Some Israelis, Gazans Receive 2,279 Calories Too Many,” Haaretz, 21 October 2012.


Even the world's largest one, according to French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy in his interview to Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas, published on 11 February 2009.


“Damage to Palestinian People and Property during Operation Cast Lead,” JPS 151, no. 3 (Spring 2009): p. 211.


According to PA official Mohammad Chtaieh, Reuters, Ramallah, 4 September 2014.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Gaza Emergency Situation Report, 28 August 2014,


“22nd Ambassador's Conference,” Élysée: Présidence de la Republique, François Hollande, in his speech before the annual Conference of Ambassadors at the Elysée Palace, Paris, 28 August 2014, said, “A cease-fire has now been negotiated in Cairo. I want to applaud all those who contributed to it. France did its part.”

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