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.
Jean-Pierre Filiu is professor of Middle East studies at Sciences Po, Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA). He has held visiting professorships at both Columbia and Georgetown Universities. He is the author of Apocalypse in Islam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011) and The Arab Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). His latest book, Gaza: A History, was published by Hurst/ Oxford University Press in September 2014.