On November 3, 1956, during the Kadesh Operation (Suez Crisis), the IDF took over the Gaza Strip. It withdrew on March 8, 1957. During that time, the IDF maintained a military administration that ran civilian life in Gaza. Shortly after its withdrawal, the IDF prepared a comprehensive, 142-page report documenting this first Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip.
Gaza Report. November 1956 – March 1957
The report reviews the structure of the civil administration in Gaza, its powers and the operations of its various wings. It contains information and figures collected by the civil administration while it was active concerning the Gaza Strip, its population and its various institutions. This report was one of the tools used in the preparation of military administration bodies for the territories occupied a decade later, in June 1967.
The authors of the report went into great detail about the economy, education, and health systems. Particular attention was devoted to refugees in the Gaza Strip, their numbers and their conditions. The report also describes the various means of control and propaganda used by the military administration, including, military approval for local leadership appointments, veto powers regarding any financial activities by the local Palestinian authorities and their subordination to an Israeli official. The authorities also cut off telephone and postal services to Gaza, closed local banks and brought in an Israeli bank. Military radio broadcast propaganda in Arabic, which was transmitted through loudspeakers placed in coffee shops throughout the Strip. Propaganda newsreels were screened in every cinema in the area, textbooks were blacklisted.