The city of Gaza is the principal city in the Gaza Strip.
In Arabic it is written غزة Ġazzah;, in the Hebrew alphabet it is עזה, in Standard Hebrew it is ʿAzza, in Tiberian Hebrew it is Ġazzāh or ʿAzzāh. It sometimes called Gaza City to distinguish it from the Gaza Strip. It has a population of about 400,000. It is currently under the control of the Palestinian Authority, which took it over from Israel following the 1993 Oslo Accords.
The earliest known reference to the city was by the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III in the 15th century BC. It is also mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna tablets. The exact site of ancient Gaza is not known.
Modern Gaza was built in the time of Herod the Great. In biblical times Gaza was one of the major cities of the Philistines. The Philistine city was built on a hill about 150 feet (45 meters) above sea level, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the Mediterranean Sea. It was a walled city of about 200 acres (80 hectares). It came successively under the control of the Israelites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Persians.
The origin of the name Gaza is unclear. It has been variously reported to derive from the Canaanite, Hebrew, and Persian languages.
- Municipality of Gaza