Toward the Consolidation of a Gazan Military Front?
2021 Gaza war
Gaza civillians
Gaza-West Bank linkage
Gazan military front
south Lebanon

This essay considers the place of the Gaza Strip in the broader Palestinian context. Israel’s determination to separate Gaza from the West Bank since the signing of the Oslo Accords and its subsequent withdrawal from the territory in 2005 resulted in a process that culminated in the buildup of a Palestinian military front reminiscent of that established by the Palestine Liberation Organization in south Lebanon in 1975–82. In both instances, the military front appears to serve as a Palestinian counterstrategy to achieve linkage. Palestinians demonstrated their determination to break the isolation of Gaza in the war of May 2021 that was accompanied by mass mobilization across and outside Mandate Palestine. The essay probes the question of whether we are witnessing the consolidation of a Gazan military front and points to the minimal political conditions necessary for such a development to advance the liberation struggle.

Author biography: 

Camille Mansour is editor-in-chief of the Interactive Encyclopedia of the Palestine Question, published online jointly by the Institute for Palestine Studies and the Palestinian Museum at He is a former professor of international relations at Paris University and spent eight years in Palestine as the director of Birzeit University’s Institute of Law and as the dean of the law faculty. In the early 1990s, he was an advisor to the Palestinian delegation during the Madrid-Washington negotiations.