by Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar
Abandoning territory to the enemy's control brings about terror and destruction.
Leftist commentators, its spokesmen and other supporters of withdrawal and concessions see the sounds, the sounds of rockets exploding; hear the sights, the spectacle of funerals and frightened residents resuming their biased positions as if nothing is happening around us. "It's not because of the Disengagement", they say, declaring that "even before the Disengagement there were missiles" presenting data and numbers. The time has come to answer these claims, to put an end to the tendentious information that they serve up to us.
Let us refresh our memories:
Indeed, the attacks of missiles and rockets on the Israeli home front did not begin with the uprooting of Gush Katif. There were such attacks before then, but an examination of the facts from a much earlier time will allow us to come to a true understanding and draw conclusions for the future:
As long as the IDF controlled the entire Gaza Strip there were no missiles. Indeed, in 1987 there was the first Intifada, but the weapons that the Arabs used on us then were stones and sometimes even Molotov cocktails. Nothing more than that. The IDF monitored the roads and had a presence in the cities. The security forces had comprehensive intelligence and many terror attacks were prevented while even in their planning phase. Attempts to smuggle weapons were thwarted. The reason for this is simple: the IDF was there.
And then, instead of putting down the intifada once and for all, some leaders dreamed up withdrawals and concessions with the idea of rewarding the attacker and signed the Oslo Accords. The Gaza-Jericho accord was signed in May 1994, and the IDF left most parts of the Gaza Strip; they withdrew from the cities and the villages except for Gush Katif, Netzarim, Kfar Darom, Eli Sinai and Dugit, and the area was abandoned to the control of the Palestinian Authority.
It began with aging mortars and other ordnance, remember? When the first mortar was launched at Netzarim in January 2001, we deluded ourselves with the sentence "Well – it's just a mortar" but since then, they have only become more sophisticated and we have tied our own hands with the question, "What – are we going to conquer Gaza?" And we made ourselves powerless. Some of these problems were corrected in Judea and Samaria during Operation Protective Wall, when the IDF presence returned to all of the cities and the villages. In Gaza, on the other hand, there was no such operation. This is the reason that there are no rockets from Judea and Samaria, but from Gaza there are so many.
From then on, the Arabs had the freedom of action and the calm to plan escalation, raising the level, improving their rockets and missiles, arming themselves and organizing their military. No one disturbed them. The first rockets were primitive; they were much less destructive and less accurate, but step by step the terrorists improved and the rockets began to reach the communities of Gush Katif and later to Sderot and even further.
Even these painful signals did not arouse the Israeli leadership and did not cause it to change its policy. This led to the Disengagement plan and the uprooting of the communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria with the delusional and baseless hope that the enemy would turn the Strip into a Singapore of the Middle East. The withdrawal of the IDF from the Strip gave the Arabs of Gaza even more freedom of action. Hamas brutally and violently took over the leadership of the Gaza Strip from the PA and expedited the development of rockets and missiles to the present situation in which they can reach Tel Aviv and its suburbs.
Along with all of this, Hamas' capabilities have grown underground and it began digging terror tunnels many kilometers in length with the aim of carrying out abductions and strategic conquests. In the absence of an Israeli presence in the Strip Hamas could have caught us off guard and prepared its underground terror.
This is the reality and this is history. Anyone who takes the primitive drizzle of rockets before the Disengagement as proof that it was not the Disengagement that caused the present rounds of disaster we are experiencing, are lying in their souls and deceiving all of us. If the government of Israel had not signed the Oslo Accords and abandoned the Gaza Strip to the terrorists, and if we had not added to this disastrous agreement, a total disengagement from the Strip, which, as we know, is part of the Land of Israel - if we had then already applied our full sovereignty over the Strip, we would not have come to the difficult situation in which we are now.
Now, shortly before Trump's plan is publicized, we must remember the facts and acknowledge them and internalize the fact that peace and security will only be brought about by Israeli control of the entire territory. Abandoning the territory to Arab autonomy will bring about more and much more destructive rockets, this time from the hills of Samaria to Gush Dan, Jerusalem and more.
(Our thanks to historian Hagai Huberman for refreshing our memory of the dates)
Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar
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