Academics Discuss Geo-Strategic, Political Significance of Gaza

An annual conference on the geo-strategic and political significance of the Gaza Strip was held at Birzeit University on November 18-19, 2014, sponsored jointly by the Institute for Palestine Studies, the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies at Birzeit University and the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza.

In his opening address, Birzeit University president Khalil Hindi said that this conference aims to shed light on the status of the Gaza Strip, and its centrality, past, present and future.

Institute for Palestine Studies representative Camille Mansour said that coordinating the conference had been difficult, as it took an entire year to formulate the theme of the conference.

The first session, chaired by Birzeit University professor of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Munir Fakher Eldin, was titled, "The Gaza Strip: History since the Nakba."

The second session, chaired by professor Ali Jarbawi, was entitled, “Political Changes in the Gaza Strip since the Establishment of the PNA.”

The third session was chaired by professor Ahmad Azm and addressed “Israeli Tools of Domination in the Gaza Strip and the Prospects of Resistance.”

The second day of the conference comprised three sessions, one on the strategic significance of the Gaza Strip, chaired by Ahmad Khalifeh, the second on Gaza’s economic challenges and reconstruction, chaired by Husam Zumlot, and the third on social shifts and the implications of the Gaza wars and blockade, chaired by Lora Khoury.