This article examines Israeli development in the Gaza Strip and Northern Sinai from 1972 to 1982 from the perspective of architectural history. We argue that the prime objective of the Israeli occupation in this decade was economic development, not elimination; its guiding logic saw humanitarian aid as the preferred way to “resolve” the Palestinian refugee crisis. We follow how the pro-development, humanist “know how” of the architects and urban planners wrote themselves onto Gaza’s politics of space. Their scientific approach embodied in Mediterranean architecture was the solution of choice to hit two birds with one stone: end the refugee crisis by assimilating them into the Gaza strip cities, and ensure dependence on Israel by a new development plan with Yamit city at its epicentre. Mediterranean architecture expressed the gradations of vernacularity in the Israeli policy, and helped fashion a unique ideology of development based on exclusion and ethnic separation.
- Israel-Palestine conflict