Last updated on: 5/19/2008 12:23:00 PM PST

Was Palestinian Armed Resistance / Terrorism Responsible for Israel's Withdrawal from Gaza?

PRO (yes)

Ismail Haniya, Hamas Party Leader, was quoted in an Aug. 24, 2005 article titled "Hamas Rally Celebrates Gaza 'Victory'":

"We must defend the resistance and the weapons of the resistance, because that is what liberated the land and will continue to liberate the land and defend the Palestinian people...

Sharon cannot evade the truth: The Qassam [rockets] is what forced the enemy out. This is a victory for the resistance and for all of the Palestinian people."

Aug. 24, 2005 - Ismail Haniya 

Daniel Pipes, PhD, Director of the Middle East Forum, in an Apr. 5, 2005 article in the New York Sun titled "Ariel Sharon's Folly," wrote:

"First, because the decision to retreat from Gaza took place in the context of heightened violence against Israelis, it vindicates those Palestinian voices arguing for terrorism. The Gaza retreat is, in plain words, a military defeat. It follows on the ignominious Israeli abandonment of its positions and its allies in Lebanon in May 2000, a move which much eroded Arab respect for Israeli strength, with dire consequences. The Gaza withdrawal will almost certainly increase Palestinian reliance on terrorism."

Apr. 5, 2005 - Daniel Pipes, PhD 

Khalil Shikaki, PhD, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), Ramallah, in an Oct. 19, 2005 interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, discussing a poll done by his organization on Sep. 28, 2005, said the following:

"The results are fascinating. On the one hand, the polling very, very clearly indicates that the overwhelming majority of the Palestinians, 84 percent, believe that disengagement was the result of the victory of our resistance to occupation. The largest percentage of the Palestinians gives credit to Hamas for this achievement."

Oct. 19, 2005 - Khalil Shikaki, PhD 

Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America, in a debate hosted by and aired on "Democracy Now With Amy Goodman" ( on Aug. 17, 2005, the day marking the beginning of the Gaza withdrawal, said the following:

"But my biggest worry about this [Gaza withdrawal] is that this clearly rewards terrorism. And as an American and who is a supporter of the international war against radical Islamic terrorism, I am afraid that if you are rewarding terrorism in Gaza in Israel, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorists see that if terrorism works there, it will only encourage more terrorism against us, against the West, against Europe. So this is my biggest fear, why I’m against this policy."

Aug. 17, 2005 - Morton A. Klein 

CON (no)

Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister, stated on Aug. 15, 2005, in a public address to the people of Israel concerning the disengagement from the occupied Palestinian territory of Gaza that:

"Gaza cannot be held onto forever. Over one million Palestinians live there, and they double their numbers with every generation. They live in incredibly cramped refugee camps, in poverty and squalor, in hotbeds of ever-increasing hatred, with no hope whatsoever on the horizon.

The unilateral Disengagement Plan, which I announced approximately two years ago, is the Israeli answer to this reality."

Aug. 15, 2005 - Ariel Sharon 

The 2004 Revised Disengagement Plan, passed on June 6, 2004 by the Israeli Cabinet, contained the following points:

"The State of Israel has come to the conclusion that there is currently no reliable Palestinian partner with which it can make progress in a two-sided peace process. Accordingly, it has developed a plan of revised disengagement (hereinafter - the plan), based on the following considerations:

The purpose of the plan is to lead to a better security, political, economic and demographic situation...

Relocation from the Gaza Strip and from an area in Northern Samaria should reduce friction with the Palestinian population."

June 6, 2004

Americans For Peace Now (APN), an American non-governmental organization advocating peace in the Middle East, in a APN advocacy advertisement from Mar. 2005 posted on the APN website, stated the following:

"Contrary to the overheated rhetoric of some evacuation opponents, the government's decision is not a deportation or transfer of Jews. It's not the beginning of a new Holocaust. And it isn't the murder of Israeli citizens.

No - it's a call to people who were encouraged to move to the settlements to come back to the State of Israel, to help strengthen the country in the Negev and the Galilee, to contribute to building a Jewish, democratic state.

A recent survey of 100,000 Israelis found that 68% of the nation supports the settlement evacuation plan. They recognize that settlements have become an economic, security, and diplomatic burden on the state…that it's in Israel's own best interests to start getting out of the occupation business…that the time has come to put concrete national interests ahead of messianic dreams."

Mar. 2005 - Americans for Peace Now (APN)