Israel Resource Review 26th September, 2005


DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: The City of Sderot After Disengagement
Nahum Barnea
Columnist, Yediot Aharonot

Over the past year, I have been to Sderot often, following the Kassam rockets. I climb up to the mayor's office, on the second floor of the municipality building, and catch Mayor Eli Moyal in a combative mood. "What do you think," he lashes out, "that after the withdrawal from Gush Katif no Kassam rockets will fall on Sderot?"

They will fall, I say, they will definitely fall. Perhaps even more than now.

"Then who needs this f---ing disengagement," Moyal snaps.

I look at his eyes, red from a night of Kassam rockets and a morning of interviews to every possible channel. He chain smokes, and drinks cup after cup of black coffee. Moyal lives on the edge. When there are no Kassam rockets he is bored. When there are Kassams the situation is tough and bitter. Like many Sderot residents, he says that if the IDF would only stick it to them, stick it to them good, for once and for all, the Kassam rockets would disappear.

Moyal does not really believe in an instant solution. He is too sophisticated. But he needs an outlet. Why should we criticize him when Netanyahu, the pretender to the throne, sells the same illusions.

Disengagement did not solve the routine security problem of the communities around Gaza. In a certain sense, it worsened it: Disengagement brought a large quantity of weapons and ammunition into the Gaza Strip; it wiped the settlements off the map, which were an easy and tempting target. Thousands of mortar shells were fired at Gush Katif since 2000. The evacuation took them out of range. The mortar shell era is over. The age of Kassam has begun.

If anyone thought that months of quiet would elapse until the Gazans digested the additional territory and freedom that they were given, they were forced to rethink over the weekend: The volley of Kassam rockets left a strong sense of deja vu . . .

In Sharon's eyes, the main recompense for disengagement is in the area of foreign policy: It enabled him to bypass the road map, to buy a good reputation and time, free himself from the responsibility for Gaza and persuade President Bush to make it a test case for the competence of the Palestinian Authority, a test that Sharon is convinced the PA will fail. The rampage of Kassam rockets over the weekend only strengthens Sharon's view that there is no real partner on the Palestinian side.

These are elusive, temporary achievements. The disengagement initiative has only one lasting, tangible, conclusive outcome for the time being: The settlements have been wiped out…The Kassam rockets are not part of this arrangement. Unfortunately, neither is Sderot…

This piece ran in Yediot on September 26th, 2005

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

After Disengagement: A Strategic Insight
Dr. Boaz Ganor

The considerations of unilateral withdrawal are not the same as the considerations of an agreed-upon withdrawal. In the absence of an agreement, the margin of safety must be expanded, and all possible scenarios must be taken into account.

Without an agreement, Israel should not have left Philadelphi Road, and now it must not permit the opening of the Gaza sea port and airport.

All these should be subject to an agreement in which the PA commits itself to maintain law and order in the Gaza Strip, to demilitarize its area of curved trajectory weapons and to disarm the terror organizations.

. . . The events of the past few days and the swift deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip demonstrate the need to take all necessary steps to prevent the entry of curved trajectory weapons and anti-aircraft guns into the Gaza Strip.

It is reasonable to assume that the decision makers in Israel took into account the possibility that the IDF would be called upon in the future to return to the Gaza Strip for short or long periods of time in order to deal with terrorist nests. But this scenario become more tangible and more dangerous in light of the withdrawal from Philadelphi Road . . .

When the IDF is called upon to enter the Gaza Strip in the future, it will encounter armed resistance more dangerous than what it experienced in Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank…

Dr. Ganor is Assistant Dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya

This article appeared in Yediot on September 26th, 2005

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

PA Foreign Minister Renews Call to Invoke PLO "Phased Plan of Stages"
Col. (res) Jonathan D. Halevi

Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa presented an uncompromising political stand similar to the PLO's "Phased Plan of Stages" from 1974, according to an interview appearing in the London-based Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat on Sunday.

"We're reaching the moment of truth," said al-Kidwa, adding that he saw two possibilities:

The first - "the establishment of two states along the borders of the 1949 ceasefire lines"; the second - "the review of other solutions by the Palestinian people who require a different political plan and approach."

Al-Kidwa means that the PA would adopt the old-new idea of a single state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

Arafat and Abu Ala made similar threats in 2004 to abandon the current political process and the objective of establishing an independent Palestinian state, in return for "a demand to receive equal rights in a single democratic state".

This appeared in Hebrew on September 25th, 2005 at

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Report #5: State of Gush Katif, Northern Gaza and Northern Shomron Communities
Toby Klein Greenwald

Commissioned by Israel Resource News Agency and the Center for Near East Policy Research

Police Back on the Beat Israel Television's Channel Two reported this morning that police in the south of Israel have made a number of drug and other arrests, since these were neglected during the Disengagement. Mickey Rosenfeld, a police spokesperson, confirmed that, "The situation is at the moment that the police force in general has freed itself from the disengagement that was carried out with 'a great deal of success' and now they're back doing the real work – fighting crime and internal criminal activity, and this is our main goal. Now we're back working 100% on fighting crime." He could not put an exact number on the large amount of marijuana that was smuggled into the country during the days following the disengagement when the borders between Gaza and Egypt were open.

Gush Katif Resident Released from Prison (The author of the report has the name of the prisoner's identity.) A young man, father of several children and resident of Gush Katif, who, witnesses say, was standing on a street corner protesting Sharon's policies in February, 2005, was recently released after seven months in prison. He is being charged with "Attempt to harm the infrastructure of the state". His trial is due to begin soon.

High Holidays There is a large grassroots effort underway to find either empty homes or families willing to host Gush Katif people who are still in hotels, for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succot, who are looking for a more home-like atmosphere for the holidays.

Update on Morag The community of Morag, who are now in their seventh week in the dorm shacks of the Ulpana in Ofra, hope to move, after Rosh Hashana, to caravans in Tene-Omarim, a settlement in the southern Hebron hills. The future is an unknown. There are 13 families left in the Ulpana; the other 22 were "scattered".

Update on Moshav Katif According to a source from Moshav Katif, that is now in its seventh week of living in dorm rooms at the Ulpana in Kfar Pines, there is still no temporary solution in sight.

Chaim Altman, spokesperson for the Disengagement Authority, defines solutions as "immediate", "temporary" and "long term". Almost no long term solutions will be ready for the next few years; those people who have "temporary" solutions consider themselves luck. The majority of the evacuees from Gush Katif are still living in the make-shift "immediate" conditions.

Moshav Katif was offered Eivin in the Negev, a three-month solution, and according to Katif sources it was nixed by Ariel Sharon and by the Jewish Agency. At the time of the submission of this report, clarifications had not yet been received from the Prime Minister's office or from the Jewish Agency spokespeople. (Reminder: Eivin is a student community that was established for new immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia who attend Sapir College. The solution would have been that the students, who would be temporarily displaced, would receive upgraded new apartments in Sderot to live in during those three months, and an additional scholarship. Ezra Heidu, Moshav Katif spokesman, said at the time, "The Jewish Agency is ruining the plan.")

The Moshav Katif people say they have also been offered caravans in Yad Binyamin but someone else is first in line, and in "Shchuna Daled" in Beer Sheva, an area that is known to be a center for drugs and other crimes.

According to a Moshav Katif mother, the older kids of the community are becoming increasingly bitter and the younger children are not in school.

The Moshav Katif source says that no one has received a penny in compensation yet because they (the evacuees) refuse to deal with the authorities as individuals, rather, they are demanding a solution as a community. They are also hesitant to sign anything that will give away their assets, their rights, their possibilities for future rebuilding.

Some of the teachers have not received their September salaries that were promised to them by the Department of Education because, like dozens of other high school teachers in Gush Katif, they received their salaries from a Negev municipality (those teachers who taught in high schools), not from the government (which pays primarily for grammar schools) and the Negev municipalities don't have extra funds so they are not paying teachers who couldn't teach in September or October.

The families did not expect to still be in temporary quarters so they have no winter clothes. Those are packed away somewhere in containers. It would cost them money to open and empty the containers and there is nowhere to store the contents, anyway, near where they are living.

Each report will try to highlight one service project.

Ruthi Brenner is seeking sponsors for evacuee university students who were unable to work this summer to put themselves through college and may have to forfeit their studies as a result. Brenner says that $5,000 paid directly to the university would cover a full year of college tuition and she would be happy to put sponsors in contact with their "adopted" students. Contact her at: or telephone: 972-2-561-1962.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Go to the Israel Resource Review homepage

The Israel Resource Review is brought to you by the Israel Resource, a media firm based at the Bet Agron Press Center in Jerusalem, and the Gaza Media Center under the juristdiction of the Palestine Authority.
You can contact us on