Gaza Strip: four long decades of conflict
Published 01/06/2010 | 05:00
1967: Israel seizes control of the Gaza Strip from Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day war and begins to establish settlements there. 1971: Israel's military conducts harsh campaign to pacify Gaza and defeat armed militants. 1987: The first Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, known as the intifada, begins from a refugee camp. 1994: Under the interim Israel-Palestinian peace accords, Israel transfers some power in Gaza to the newly formed Palestinian Authority. The Israeli military withdraws from population centres but retains control of borders and settlements. 2000: The second Palestinian uprising erupts. Palestinian militants begin firing rockets from Gaza into Israel. 2005: Israel evacuates all its settlements in Gaza and unilaterally withdraws its forces. 2006: The Islamic militant group Hamas wins Palestinian parliamentary elections. Western powers declare Hamas a terrorist group. Internal Palestinian violence worsens and rocket fire into Israel increases. 2007: Hamas wrests control of Gaza from the Western-backed Fatah movement in bloody street battles. Israel closes its border with Gaza and, along with Egypt, imposes a blockade. August 2008: The first boat sponsored by a pro-Palestinian group called Free Gaza reaches the territory. Five more boats follow before Israeli forces began to intervene. December 2008: Israel invades Gaza to try to halt years of rocket fire. About 1,400 Palestinians are killed. April 2009: An Israeli navy vessel collides with a Free Gaza boat steaming toward Gaza, then tows the boat to an Israeli port. Two more flotillas fail to reach Gaza. May 31, 2010: Israel intercepts six boats sponsored by Free Gaza and a Turkish NGO in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade. Clashes between commandos and activists result in nine deaths.