• A Territory in Conflict: Eras of Development and Urban Architecture in Gaza
    Fatina Abreek-Zubiedat
    University of Pittsburgh Press, 2025
    Fatina Abreek-Zubiedat

Roni Margolin, “Perspective drawings illustrate the housing environment in the Khan Younis rehabilitation area,” ca. 1980s. Ink drawing on paper, 7 x 10 in. Courtesy collection of Roni Margolin, Tel Aviv

A Territory in Conflict explores projects of modernization and development implemented by Israel and Palestinians from the outset of Israel’s military occupation in 1967 to the Oslo Accords of 1993. Rather than reduce the Gaza Strip to an arena of war and violence, this book resurrects the urban and architectural history of its concrete cities and the many perspectives and identities of the people living within them. Through a close examination of planning activities in occupied territories that focuses on issues of development, settlement, and security, the project highlights the collision between Israeli occupation, Palestinian nationalism, and regional peace processes; politics of class and citizenship; and the tensions inherent in development policies designed to establish lasting control over demographics and resources. A Territory in Conflict probes the power of architecture in conflict zones, illustrating the agency of the Gaza Strip’s cultural elite—mayors, architects, and engineers—while also drawing attention to alternative voices, local civilians and refugees, and the conflicts, complexities, and contradictions of settler-colonialism in the Middle East. This innovative approach to urbanization, resettlement, and rehabilitation in the Gaza Strip offers a nuanced account of the Israel-Palestine conflict beyond the limited framework of colonizer/colonized, restoring agency to its cities and the people who inhabit them.

Fatina Abreek-Zubiedat is an assistant professor (senior lecturer) at the Azrieli School of Architecture, Tel Aviv University, where she heads the research lab Spaces-in-Transition. Abreek-Zubiedat finished her postdoctoral studies at the Institute of History and Theory at ETH Zurich. She earned a doctorate with outstanding distinction in 2018 from the Technion-IIT, Haifa. Her research focuses on architecture of transitions in the Global South development aid in conflict zones, spatialities of forced mobilities, and Middle East and North Africa’s food insecurity. Her studies have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, including “Militarized Urbanism” (Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 2023); “In the name of Belonging” (Making Home(s) in Displacement, 2022); “Mediterraneanism in Conflict” (Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2021); “The Right to an Urban History” (Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2021); “Being Citizens of the City of Gaza” (Citizenship Studies, 2020) and has been recognized by several prestigious awards and grants, including, inter alia, the Rothschild fellowship; the Neubauer fellowship; the ISF grant; VATAT fellowship for Arabs; and the Azrieli Award.