The city of Gaza, located southwest of Jerusalem with a population of 400,000, is the largest Palestinian city in the occupied Palestinian territories. Its name means "strength and prevalence."
An important coastal city, Gaza was a place of great interest and subsequent conquests by the Assyrians and Persians, Greeks and Romans. During Byzantine rule, Gaza City was at its height as an economic hub, with active trade that spanned western and northern Europe. In the 1800s, Gaza once again became part of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire. However, the British succeeded in capturing the Strip during the First World War.
Historically a city of great strategic importance, Gaza City was - for a long period of time - part of the sole overland route between Africa and Asia. It was this ideal placement of the city that started its relationship with present-day Egypt. Its relationship with Egypt dates to the earliest recorded history of the city when it was home to the governor of Canaan.
Since then, Gaza experienced Egyptian rule in 1948, and then the Israeli occupation after 1967. Intended to become part of an independent Arab state according to the UN partition plan of 1947, the city and the entire Strip was occupied by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967.