Situated on the western Mediterranean seashore
32 km north of the Egyptian border, Gaza is considered one
of the most ancient and historic towns in the world. Strategically
located on the Mediterranean coastal route, ancient Gaza was
a prosperous trade center and a stop on the caravan route
between Egypt and Syria.
The city was first inhabited by the Canaanites
and occupied by Egypt in the 15th century BC. Several hundred
years later, Gaza became a chief Philistine city. Gaza is
mentioned a number of times in the Bible, especially as the
site where Samson brought down the Philistine temple on himself
and his enemies.
Captured by the Muslims around 600 AD, Gaza
is the site where Prophet Mohammed's grandfather was buried.
Consequently, the city became an important Islamic center.
In the 12th century, it was occupied by the Crusaders but
returned to Muslim control in 1187.
Today, Gaza is the economic center for a
region where citrus fruits and other crops are grown. The
city is famous for its hand-woven carpets, wicker furniture,
Famous for its fresh seafood, Gaza has numerous
restaurants along the beach as well as public parks where
visitors can enjoy the pleasant Mediterranean breeze. Nightlife
in Gaza is also picking up and several beach hotels offer
visitors enjoyable evenings of music and dance.