Photo Credit: Kobi Richter/TPS
MK Avi Gabbay, leader of The Labor Party, arrives to Merkaz HaYeridim, Ganei HaTa'arucha Tel Aviv, to take part in the Labor Party primaries. Tel Aviv, Feb 11, 2019

Head of the Israeli Labor Party Avi Gabay endorsed Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in the summer of 2005, a move the majority of Israelis view as a disaster which led to the advent of the Hamas terror organization’s control of the Gaza Strip.

“The disengagement was a correct move,” he said at the Jerusalem Conference on Tuesday. “Our mission is to part with the Palestinians on the basis of a two-state solution, in which we are responsible for security.”


He called for “a change for Israel, a different perception, a real attempt to break free of the diplomatic stagnancy and return the compassion and the solidarity to the State of Israel.”

Israel evicted a bloc of 17 communities in the Gaza Strip and four communities in northern Samaria during the disengagement, which many Israeli refer to as “the expulsion.” The move, in which 8,600 Israelis lost their homes, remains highly controversial to this day and is perceived to be directly linked to increased terrorism emanating from Gaza.

In June 2017, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yair Naveh, who commanded the IDF’s withdrawal from northern Samaria in 2005, declared that Israel’s unilateral withdrawal was a “grave mistake.”

Naveh said that reality has proven the move has failed to give Israel any security or diplomatic advantage.

“There’s no doubt that we weren’t able to create any sort of security advantage, neither in Gaza nor in Samaria,” Naveh said in the interview with Israel Hayom. “If the disengagement from Gaza contributed anything to history, it did so by proving that terrorism has nothing to do with the settlement enterprise, and by proving that an eviction of this nature cannot be carried out in such a way again.”

“There was no advantage to this eviction. None. Zero. Nothing has changed for the better there. It had not added value to security or to anything else. It was a frustrating event that left a feeling that it was all for nothing,” Naveh said.