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      Historical Survey of Israeli Leaders: Will Rockets Fall?

      Israeli leaders were split over whether there would ever really be rockets falling on Israeli territory from Gaza in the wake of an IDF pullout.
      By Ezra HaLevi
      First Publish: 7/16/2006, 2:00 PM / Last Update: 7/14/2006, 8:33 AM

      Israeli leaders were split over whether there would ever really be rockets falling on Israeli territory from Gaza in the wake of an IDF pullout. IsraelNationalTV's Yehezkel Laing compiled their sentiments and predictions.

      If we cut and run, Gaza will be taken over by terror organizations... Gaza's squares shall be transformed into launching platforms of Katyushas toward Ashkelon ... The only way to defeat terrorism is by controlling its bases.
      Likud MK Ariel Sharon
      Maariv, June 12, 1992

      "Every time there is a wave of terrorism, all sorts of 'experts' say that we should unilaterally get out of Gaza. If we do so, the Gaza Strip will become a cancerous thorn of terrorism, 1,000 times more dangerous than it is now. What will we do when katyushas are fired from Biet Yachie on Ashkelon and from Biet Hanoun on Sderot?"
      Tourism Minister and Moledet Leader MK Rehavam Ze'evi
      Knesset Minutes, March 1993

      You have to tell the citizens of Israel how you plan to prevent terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip. How will you prevent Katyusha attacks on Ashkelon?"
      Likud MK Moshe Katsav
      Jerusalem Post, May 24, 1994

      All you do all day is threaten that there will be Katyusha rockets landing in Ashkelon. Would you mind telling me why there are no rockets fired from Aqaba to Eilat?"
      Foreign Minister Labor MK Shimon Peres
      Knesset minutes
      September 9, 1993

      We're familiar with the Likud's horror stories. They promised us Katyushas from Gaza, but Gaza has been under the primary control of the Palestinian Authority for more than a year now, and there hasn't been a single Katyusha.
      Prime Minister, Labor MK Yitzchak Rabin
      Jerusalem Post
      Jun 20, 1995

      A particularly favored line is that the Likud's dire predictions of Gaza turning into another Lebanon, with Katyusha rockets hitting Ashkelon, have proved unrealistic and plain silly.
      Jerusalem Post Editorial
      Aug 11, 1995

      The purpose of the Disengagement Plan is to reduce terror as much as possible, and grant Israeli citizens the maximum level of security...These steps will increase security for the residents of Israel and relieve the pressure on the IDF and security forces in fulfilling the difficult tasks they are faced with. The Disengagement Plan is meant to grant maximum security and minimize friction between Israelis and Palestinians.
      Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
      Herzliya Conference - Full speech
      December 18, 2003

      We must take into account that after withdrawal, Ashkelon, a major Israeli city, will be within the effective range of Kassam rockets. In the future, when sea and airports are built in Gaza and we will have no control, they will have Katyushas with a longer range that can also reach Kiryat Gat or southern Ashdod.
      Major General (Res.) Yakov Amidror
      Maariv, Feb. 5, 2004

      Before the withdrawal from Lebanon, the Intelligence Directorate also threatened us with Katyushas reaching Hadera and we see what actually happened. I estimate, and my estimate is just as valid as those that threaten us with horrors, that after we leave the Gaza Strip, terrorism will decrease, not increase.
      Former Mossad Head, Labor MK Dani Yatom
      Maariv, Feb. 5, 2004

      If the Disengagement plan is carried out, Kassam rocket attacks will be the lot of cities from Ashkelon to Ofakim [also inside Israel], and will become a daily occurrence.
      Yisrael Beiteinu Head, MK Avigdor Lieberman
      July 5, 2004

      After the withdrawal, Kassam rockets will rain on Ashkelon.
      NRP Head, MK Effie Eitam
      Kol Israel, Israel Radio
      Tuesday, June 29, 2004

      I anticipate that the level of terrorism will drop after the disengagement and after pragmatic Arab forces take control.
      Defense Minister, Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz
      Arutz Sheva
      Jul 02, 2004

      We will find a full answer to the Kassams without crossing lines.
      IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz
      Speech at Bar Ilan University
      Mar 24, 2006