Culture Minister Miri Regev said she "erred" in bashing Gush Katif residents as "barbaric and criminal" during the Gaza disengagement.
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.
Her enthusiastic support of the move surfaced last week after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein brought up her role during an interview with Channel 10 last week, reminding viewers that Regev had called Gush Katif residents "barbaric and criminal" and had accused the residents of "emotional blackmailing" IDF soldiers.
"The settlers' behavior came from a painful place and their behavior was not barbaric. I was wrong to say it" Regev told Army Radio. "I also say things that I do not agree with.... Since I was elected to the Knesset, I have been strengthening the settlements."
"The disengagement was a very big mistake, and I am happy that I am not in the army right now because there we have to carry out orders, just as I expect soldiers from the left not to refuse to serve in the settlements," Regev added.
Last week, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said that Likud voters would prefer him over Regev in the internal party primaries due to her support of the Gaza disengagement. Edelstein has been locked in a feud with Regev over his insistence that Netanyahu speak at the Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony, which has traditionally been the purview of the Knesset Speaker.
"I do not believe that anyone among the Likud members will find someone like me, who moved to Gadid before the evacuation, the uprooting in 2005, and lived there for a few months with the residents, less right wing than someone who at the time was the spokesperson for the expulsion of those families from Gush Katif," said Edelstein.
As part of the 2005 disengagement from Gaza, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip and parts of northern Samaria, demolishing 25 Israeli towns and removing Israel's security forces from that region.