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‘Most People Think Disengagement was a Mistake’

Israelis tour abandoned communities. Organizer: Opposition to unilateral withdrawals is already part of Israeli consensus.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/5/2013, 10:07 AM

Gush Katif pullout
Gush Katif pullout
Flash 90

Most Israelis agree that the “Disengagement” from Gaza and northern Samaria was a mistake, says Mochi Betar.

Betar directs the Center for the Commemoration of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria. Recently the center has been advertising tours of northern Samaria in which visitors can see the communities that were abandoned in the 2005 withdrawal.

Touring the area is not a problem, he explained. “The area is under Israeli control, and we get permission to enter almost all the time,” he told Arutz Sheva.

Interest in commemorating the lost communities is strong, he said. “From the beginning of the Hebrew month of Av and up to Tisha B’Av we have the ‘days of Gush Katif.’ This year, eight years after the expulsion, there are 150 places that will mark this.”

“Now that the Gush Katif law has passed in Knesset, schools can mark this day, too,” he added.

Only a minority of Israelis continue to believe that the Disengagement was justified, Betar stated. Regarding that minority, he said, “I can’t say that everyone is with us, and that everyone thinks it was a mistake, but people are interested in listening.”

The family of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who led the Disengagement, has not yet shown an interest in joining tours of northern Samaria, he said. “Maybe we’ll be in touch with them,” he suggested.