Culture Minister Miri Regev apologized for supporting the Gaza disengagement during a tour of Gaza-area communities on Sunday.
Regev had been the IDF Spokesperson during the 2005 Gaza Disengagement and had been a visible advocate for the move expelling 9,000 Jews and demolishing 25 Israeli towns from the region.
"I will never assist in evacuating settlements," said Regev. "Since I left the army, I have worked to strengthen settlement in Judea and Samaria. I never raised my hand to evacuate settlements and I will never raise my hand to evacuate settlements. "
Regev added that she had only followed orders in supporting the withdrawal. "I do not expect soldiers or officers in the army to act against the orders of the chief of staff," said Regev. "The army did not make the decision regarding the disengagement, but rather the political echelon."
Regev's enthusiastic support of the move surfaced in May after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein brought up her role during an interview with Channel 10, reminding viewers that Regev had called Gush Katif residents "barbaric and criminal" and had accused the residents of "emotional blackmailing" IDF soldiers.
After Edelstein highlighted the prominent role Regev played in the evacuation, Regev apologized, telling Army Radio that "the settlers' behavior came from a painful place and their behavior was not barbaric. I was wrong to say it".
Sunday marked the 13th anniversary of the move that expelled 9,000 Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip. Regev predicted that a similar evacuation could never occur in Judea and Samaria due to the area's proximity to major Israeli population centers.
"Today's reality is different. Yehuda and Shimron overlook strategic areas in the State of Israel," said Regev. "There will be no such recommendation."