Sharon, Just Before Disengagement Announcement: 'I Won't Uproot'

A day after govt's failure in rehabilitating Gush Katif expellees is publicized, a recording of Ariel Sharon saying “I won't uproot” is released.

Contact Editor
Hillel Fendel, | updated: 12:23

Israel news photo: Flash 90

Just one day after the publication of the official State Inquiry report documenting the government's failure in its treatment of the 9,000 Disengagement expellees, a recording of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promising not to uproot any Jewish towns comes to light. 

Veteran Arutz-7 reporter Moshe Priel found the recording, which he said was made just two weeks before Sharon announced his Disengagement plan, in his personal collection. It occurred at a dedication ceremony in the Ramot neighborhood in Be'er Sheva.

The recording begins with Priel approaching Sharon and asking him as follows: "A British newspaper reported yesterday that if the terrorist attacks continue, you plan to respond with a very strong hand against the terrorists, and then to remove Jewish towns, especially in Gaza. What is your reaction?"

Sharon responded, “Look, allow me to relate to the second part. I don’t intend to uproot any Jewish town, and therefore all those who circulate these rumors have no basis for them. As you see, I am here with the [Housing and] Construction Minister, the Deputy Construction Minister, the Director-General of [the] Construction [Ministry] – everything is construction, right? We’re not destroying, just building.”

Just two weeks later, on December 18, 2003, Sharon appeared at the Herzliya Conference and said, “If, in a few months, the Palestinians still continue to disregard their part in implementing the Road Map - then Israel will initiate the unilateral security step of disengagement from the Palestinians... The Disengagement Plan will include the redeployment of IDF forces along new security lines and a change in the deployment of settlements, which will reduce as much as possible the number of Israelis located in the heart of the Palestinian population.” 

The recording, in Hebrew, can be heard here.

Several months after the expulsion was carried out, Sharon suffered a massive stroke, and has been hospitalized in a coma for over four years.