15 Years On, Ex-Mossad and IDF Top Brass Still at Odds Over Decision to Disengage From Gaza

In 2005, former PM Sharon’s decision to pull out from Gaza divided the Israeli public and experts. While those in favour of the plan claimed the initiative would scale back the country’s military spending and improve the Jewish state’s security, those who opposed it alleged the situation would only get worse.

It was an event that split an already divided Israeli society.

On 15 August 2005, the IDF started to evacuate 22 Jewish settlements dispersed across the Gaza Strip as part of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan aimed at improving the country’s security.

At the time many supported the plan. According to a poll conducted just days before the historic move, 55 percent of Israelis said they backed the step, while 38 percent rejected the idea.

The Benefits of Disengagement

Danny Rothschild, a retired IDF general who coordinated the army’s operations in the West Bank and Gaza in the 1990s, was one of those who supported the aforementioned initiative, saying it was “one of the best decisions israel has ever made”.

But he was not the only one who thought that way. A year before the pull-out kicked off and while Sharon was still on the fence about it, Rothschild as well as a number of other prominent security men from the IDF, Mossad, and Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, dispatched a letter to the prime minister, sending a clear message that disengagement from Gaza was a step in the right direction.

For them the logic was clear. Israel…

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