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Knesset debates whether Gaza disengagement helped Hamas

During the Knesset debate marking the ninth anniversary of Israel's disengagement from Gaza, conservative politicians claimed that the current Hamas attacks would not have taken place had Ariel Sharon not pulled out of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas supporters wave Hamas flags on the now Egyptian and Palestinian border during an Israeli pullout celebration ceremony in Rafah south of Gaza Strip September 22, 2005. Israel on Thursday dismantled its last military base in a pocket of the northern West Bank where it had evacuated four small settlements, completing the final stage of a "disengagement" plan. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah - RTRP2HW
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On July 15, as the Gaza cease-fire collapsed, the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee convened for a hearing marking the ninth anniversary of Israel’s disengagement from Gaza.

Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, the committee chairman and one of the Likud Party’s hawks and most prominent critics of the disengagement, chose to focus the hearing on the diplomatic, operational and legal aspects of the plan. But the debate, which, at least according to the news release, was supposed to include “experts of different hues and views on the issue,” set out right from the start to formulate the following equation: The terrorism emanating from Gaza and the rockets hitting Tel Aviv are the direct result of the disengagement and the decision by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

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