Defense Minister Comes Out Against 2005 Gaza Withdrawal; "Grave Mistake"

“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” Proverbs 22:28 (The Israel Bible™)

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday he “absolutely agreed” with comments made by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yair Naveh in an interview with Israel Hayom in which he declared that Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in northern Samaria in 2005 was a “grave mistake.”

The interview with Naveh, who was chief of the Central Command at the time of the disengagement and later became IDF deputy chief of staff, appears in full today. Naveh oversaw the evacuation of settlements from Northern Samaria.

“The [2005] disengagement was a mistake. It was an adventure and a mistake for which we’re still paying a high price,” Lieberman said Thursday, in an interview on the ultra-Orthodox Kol Hai radio station.

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“The idea behind the disengagement, that the Arabs would all of a sudden want peace and would be our subcontractors on security, collapsed,” Lieberman said.

“We wound up with an agreement signed by the European Union, and [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas got the Gaza Strip handed to him on a silver platter.

“Two years later, Hamas seized control [of Gaza], and today we are seeing the results.”

In his original interview, Naveh said that “There is no doubt that neither in Gaza nor in Samaria have we forged any security advantage…There was no benefit there, zero. Nothing has changed there for the better.”