• The Rear Side of the Front: Gaza and Its People in World War I

    During the First World War, the city of Gaza, a regional hub of forty thousand souls and a major market and exporter of grains, turned into a battlefield. While the military and political consequences of this arena are well researched, this article examines its civil and social aspects as well, in order to better understand the story of the First World War in Palestine. Using both British and Ottoman documentation alongside civil accounts and memoirs, the article discusses the reasons, methods, and effects of the city’s complete evacuation and the massive destruction of its physical environment. The civil perspective of the war reflected in the fate of Gaza poses a challenge to common chronological and spatial presumptions about the war itself, and it allows a rethinking of the Mandate period in the light of postwar circumstances.