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Khan Younis, located in the South, is the second largest city in Gaza, after Gaza City. Its name is derived from its history as an important khan or caravanserai (inn for caravans) on the Via Maris trade route that ran from Cairo to Damascus. The khan was built during the 14th century by the Mamluk Emir Younis Ibn Ala’en-Nawruzi, hence the name Khan Younis. Because of its strategic location, the town developed into an important commercial center, with postal services and military barracks, which housed forces to protect the trade route. These military fortifications earned it the name Qala’a or ‘fortress.’ One of the khan’s original walls still stands at the center of the city, the façade spanning 60 meters long and 10 meters high, including an entrance gate and tower.