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Netanyahu, Bennett square off over settlers

Recent protests by settlers have pitted Education Minister Naftali Bennett against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a fight over right-wing support.
A Jewish settler (2nd L) scuffles with an Israeli border police officer near buildings slated for demolition by order of Israel's high court, in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah July 28, 2015. Israeli police said on Tuesday that forces were deployed to the settlement in the occupied West Bank in order to prevent people from barricading themselves inside the structures known as the "Drainhoff" buildings. REUTERS/Amir Cohen      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1M69K
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Aug. 15 will mark the 10th anniversary of the disengagement, Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, including the evacuation of 21 settlements and four additional settlements in northern Samaria in 2005. Then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the “father of the settlements,” shocked the world — and himself — in 2004 when he announced his intent to evacuate the Israel Defense Forces' bases and dismantle all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. No one believed him at first. Sharon? The very man who dropped settlements on every hill in Judea and Samaria? The same man who invented the system of putting up scattered outposts throughout the entire area, and who declared that “Netzarim was the same as Tel Aviv?”

But Sharon was serious. The "Bulldozer" who built the settlements became the "Steamroller" who tore them down. Within just a few months, the settlers realized that their father and founder had risen to destroy them. They also knew that he was the only one in any way capable of doing a thing like that. Only he had the necessary inner strength, the determined sense of leadership and the requisite self-confidence. Only he could turn on his life's work, rip up 25 thriving settlements and impose the hegemony of the Israeli kingdom on its insurgent representatives.

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