President Shimon Peres was accosted by a new IDF enlistee Sunday while visiting the IDF's center for new recruits, and asked if his conscience did not bother him due to the disastrous results of the 2005 Disengagement Operation.

The Ariel Sharon government implemented the Disengagement Plan which forced upon the IDF the task of forcefully expelling Jews from their homes in 25 Jewish towns and transferring the area of Gaza over to Arab sovereignty. The Hamas terror organization took credit for forcing Israel to flee Gaza and was subsequently elected to rule the Palestinian Authority. The lands abandoned to the Arabs became training grounds for terrorists and the launching of missiles for Gaza has intensified.

Peres paid a visit to the IDF’s Tel HaShomer induction facility (Bakum) Sunday morning, where he met with the head of the IDF’s Manpower Division Maj.-Gen. Elazar Stern and reviewed the trends and figures regarding the drafting of Israel’s youth to the IDF.

Maj.-Gen. Stern presented Peres with statistics showing a dramatic decline in those enlisting in the IDF in the past two years, since the Army was used to physically transfer more than 8,000 Jews from their homes. According to recent published statistics, a quarter of Israel’s youth do not enlist in the army for various reasons.

Peres told Stern that he sees in him a partner for the greatest of missions – that of raising the morale and motivation of Israel’s youth to join the army and contribute to Israeli society. Peres attributed the figures to the fact that the public is disrespectful in its criticism of the army, something which, he says, reduces the national pride in IDF service.

During the course of the visit, Peres approached a group of fresh recruits. A young man from B’nei Brak, who said he was a religious-Zionist, asked Peres if he did not feel pangs of conscience due to the results of the Disengagement from Gaza.

Peres did not respond. It is unclear whether the soldier will be punished.