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Gaza
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Gaza

The city of Gaza (Arabic غزة Ġazzah; עזה, Standard Hebrew ʿAzza, Tiberian Hebrew Ġazzāh, ʿAzzāh; sometimes called Gaza City to distinguish it from the Gaza Strip), is the principal city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 400,000. It is currently under the control of the Palestinian Authority, which took over it from Israel following the 1993 Oslo Accords.

History

Gaza has long been sought after by many groups due to its location between Asia and Africa, its fertile land, and its value as a sea port.

The earliest known reference to the city was by the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III in the 15th century B.C. It is also mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna tablets. The exact site of ancient Gaza is not known.

Modern Gaza was built in the time of Herod the Great. In biblical times Gaza was one of the major cities of the Philistines. The Philistine city was built on a hill about 150 feet (45 meters) above sea level, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the Mediterranean Sea. It was a walled city of about 200 acres (80 hectares). It came successively under the control of the Israelites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Persianss.

Gaza became a Muslim city in 635, when it was captured by the Arabs. The city was taken by Crusaders in the 1100s, although it was recaptured by Muslims in 1187.

The Ottoman Empires took control of Gaza in the in the 1500s. During World War I on November 7, 1917 the Battle of Gaza ended and United Kingdom forces captured Gaza from the Ottoman Empire.

Gaza served as the administrative headquarters for the Israeli military forces that militarily administered the Gaza Strip from 1967 to 1994.

The origin of the name Gaza is unclear. It has been variously reported to derive from the Canaanite, Hebrew, and Persian languages.

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Gaza is also a province of Mozambique.