On the officially sanctioned Gush Katif Day, the 22nd of Sh’vat, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar pledged there would be no more “disengagements” of Jewish settlements, and invited Israeli schools to include the commemoration of the forced removal of thousands of Jews from the Gaza Strip in their curriculum.
This year marked the first time that secular state schools, in addition to religious state schools that have done it in past years, also incorporated the day of rememberance into their program.
Minister Sa’ar visited the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem and met with Jews who had been removed from their properties in the Gush Katif “disengagement” of 2005.
During his visit, Sa’ar said “It’s not easy watching the lives of thousands of Jews, with their complete system of pioneer living and Zionism, being uprooted for the sake of some baseless hope. There was no positive outcome from the disengagement, and it proved that areas empty of settlements attract terror groups and our safety is jeopardized.”
A total of 1,700 families were uprooted at a cost of nearly $900 million. This included 166 Israeli farmers who generated $120 million in flowers and produce. Approximately 15 percent of Israel’s agricultural exports originated in Gaza, including 60 percent of its cherry tomato and herb exports. Israel also lost 70 percent of all its organic produce, which was also grown in Gaza.
A total of 42 daycare centers, 36 kindergartens, seven elementary schools, and three high schools were closed. The cost of relocating military bases and roads was $500 million.