Major General (Res.) Yair Naveh, who served as stopgap IDF Chief of Staff in 2011, and who, as chief of the Central Command at the time of the disengagement plan in 2005, executed the evacuation of settlements from northern Samaria in the framework of the Disengagement Plan, now believes that the 12 years that have passed since that traumatic event have proven there was no benefit in the evacuation, neither security wise nor politically.
In an interview with Israel Hayom published Friday, Naveh says that he supports the return of the residents to the Homesh and Sa-Nur settlements which are standing empty in Samaria, insisting that even today there are strong security justifications to populating those settlements.
“There is no doubt that neither in Gaza nor in Samaria have we forged any security advantage,” Naveh states. “If it could be said that the disengagement from Gaza had one historic contribution, in proving that [Arab] terrorism is not related to settlements – forever showing that such an evacuation can never again be executed against people’s will –the northern Samaria evacuations didn’t yield even that value. There was no benefit there, zero. Nothing has changed there for the better. ”
Naveh stresses that “there has been no added security or any other value associated with our departure [from northern Samaria]. It was a frustrating event that left us with a sense of emptiness.”
The Naveh interview was conducted ahead of a special conference to be held next Monday, with representatives of all the coalition factions, to initiate a law to allow the return of residents of northern Samaria who were evacuated from their homes as part of the “Disengagement.” The four settlements in northern Samaria: Ganim, Kadim, Homesh and Sa-Nur, have remained empty since the IDF still controls the area which has not been transferred to the Palestinian Authority – unlike the total capitulation to PA and then Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.
The new bill was initiated by Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli, chairman of the Habayit Hayehudi faction, and Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Council. It has been endorsed by Coalition Chair David Bitan (Likud), Yoav Kish, Nurit Koren, Amir Ohana and Avraham Negosa (all from Likud), Bezalel Smotrich and Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi), And Michael Malkieli (Shas).
In the interview, Naveh, who wears a knitted yarmulke, shares that today, 12 years after his command of the despicable expulsion of Jews from their homes, he still receives criticism from his own religious community. He also insists that he did a lot at the time to ease the pain of the evacuation as much as he could.
Give this man a handkerchief.