Introducing Gaza City
Historically, Gaza has been one of the most strategically important eastern Mediterranean towns, and has long served as a staging post on the major trade routes linking Central Asia and Persia with Arabia, Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, it's believed that Gaza has been captured and destroyed more than any other town in the world - and that tradition lives on. After the establishment of limited self-rule in 1994, Gaza became a respectable place, but closed up once again during the second intifada.
Despite the ceasefire and pullout of all Israeli settlers in August 2005, Gaza remains unstable. The Palestinian Authority has put little effort into disarming militant groups and Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise.