Event marking 11 years since disengagement
Event marking 11 years since disengagement Eliran Aharon

A series of special events are being held in the Knesset today (Tuesday), marking 11 years since the uprooting of the towns of Gush Katif and northern Samaria, and the expulsion of their residents, as part of the "disengagement" from Gaza in 2005.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said at one of the events that "the uprooting was done against the will of the people and without any proper purpose. The familial, emotional, and personal price was too high. Gush Katif was the flagship of the Jewish building and residence in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

"Whoever wasn't part of the uprooting will never understand the extent of the scarring. I say now from experience, we must not have any more such uprooting. A place where people are thrown out of their houses will never nurture peace or anything good. The disengagement from Gush Katif must be the last in the history of Israel," the Speaker declared.

He also called for Israeli sovereignty to be applied to Ma'ale Adumim. "We need to change this mistaken attitude. Giving up land will not bring peace."

Minister Uri Ariel speaking at the event
Minister Uri Ariel speaking at the event (Photo: Eliran Aharon)

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), who is the minister in charge of matters pertaining to the Gush Katif expellees told the audience: "I hope that in two weeks we'll sign off on the establishment of the new town of Neve Yam, where former Gush Katif residents will be able to move as a community. The government will soon authorize a budget for the construction of synagogues, community centers and more."

"There was no national purpose fulfilled by the evacuation of Gush Katif. The test of the results shows a 100% failure. This was a plan that was built on delusional foreign calculations," Minister Ariel lamented.

Speaking to an audience that included former Gush Katif residents, Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog offered a similar view, but from the other side.

"There is no doubt whatsoever that the residents in Gush Katif were the height of pioneering in that era. I was in the camp that supported the disengagement and yet feel that the conclusion we must arrive at is that it's wrong to withdraw from land unilaterally.

"I do think most of the public does not want a return to Gaza now, but it is still incumbent upon the Jewish people to respect and understand your deep sacrifice, and your pain. So I have come to salute you," MK Herzog declared.