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Q: The Gaza Strip ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: The Gaza Strip
Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: evangeline068-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 20 Aug 2005 07:38 PDT
Expires: 19 Sep 2005 07:38 PDT
Question ID: 558032
Why did the Gaza strip have to be evacuated?
Subject: Re: The Gaza Strip
Answered By: richard-ga on 20 Aug 2005 08:21 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello and thank you for your question.

I would say the immediate reason is that as many as 3,000 Israeli
troops were needed to protect the 7,500 settlers at a cost tens of
millions of dollars per year, and the growing population demographics
of Gaza's 1,325,000 Palestinian Arabs made the possibility of
continuing that presence ever more difficult.

By way of background, the Gaza Strip is 140 square miles (362 square
kilometers), about twice the size of Washington, D.C., with a
population [until this week] of approximately 7,500 Israeli Jews
living in 21 settlements and 1,325,000 Palestinian Arabs.  The Gaza
area was occupied by Egyptian forces at the end of the 1948-1949 war.
From 1949 to 1967, Egypt administered but did not claim the territory.
Israel occupied the Gaza Strip during the 1967 war and administered
the area until the 1994 agreement recognized Palestinian sovereignty
over 70% of the strip. Shortly after the 1967 conflict, Israeli
civilian settlers began establishing settlementsin the West Bank, the
Sinai, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip. The future of West Bank
and Gaza settlements is supposed to be a subject of final negotiations
between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli settlers wanted to remain
in Gaza for two primary reasons; either they are seeking the economic
and personal advantages of less expensive housing, living space, and a
pleasant setting for their homes and businesses, or they believe that
Gaza is a part of traditional Israel and they are fulfilling a
religious and historical duty by claiming theland for a Jewish state.

The above is taken from a very good 6-page answer to your question
from the [US] Congressional Research Service
CRS Report for Congress Israel's Proposal to Withdraw from Gaza

You can read the Israeli government's official explanation here:
Cabinet Resolution Regarding the Disengagement Plan
The Cabinet Resolution says there are 8 reasons:
"One. The stalemate dictated by the current situation is harmful. In
order to break out of this stalemate, the State of Israel is required
to initiate moves not dependent on Palestinian cooperation.

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

Three. In any future permanent status arrangement, there will be no
Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, it is
clear that in the West Bank, there are areas which will be part of the
State of Israel, including major Israeli population centers, cities,
towns and villages, security areas and other places of special
interest to Israel.

Four. The State of Israel supports the efforts of the United States,
operating alongside the international community, to promote the reform
process, the construction of institutions and the improvement of the
economy and welfare of the Palestinian residents, in order that a new
Palestinian leadership will emerge and prove itself capable of
fulfilling its commitments under the Roadmap.

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

Six. The completion of the plan will serve to dispel the claims
regarding Israel's responsibility for the Palestinians in the Gaza

Seven. The process set forth in the plan is without prejudice to the
relevant agreements between the State of Israel and the Palestinians. 
Relevant arrangements shall continue to apply.

Eight. International support for this plan is widespread and
important. This support is essential in order to bring the
Palestinians to implement in practice their obligations to combat
terrorism and effect reforms as required by the Roadmap, thus enabling
the parties to return to the path of negotiation."

After reading the above two references, please let me know via Request
for Clarification if I can tell you any more about Israel's decision.

Search terms used:
sharon gaza february 2004 
"plan for the evacuation" sharon gaza

Thanks again for your question
Google Answers Researcher
evangeline068-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
This is exactly the information I was looking for. The research was
not just a short succint answer, but went into some historical
background; which is what
I was hoping for. A very intuitive researcher.

Subject: Re: The Gaza Strip
From: mattmarriott-ga on 20 Aug 2005 12:21 PDT
The logic of your answer is that "as many as 3,000 Israeli
troops are needed to protect the 7,500 settlers at a cost tens of
millions of dollars per year".

But the REAL question about your logic to find the real answer is: why
didn't Israel (I mean any previous government, Likud or Labor) choose
another policy that would allow for the security of settlers at a
fraction of the cost and with much more efficiency than before?
Subject: Re: The Gaza Strip
From: darkblue1-ga on 23 Aug 2005 06:25 PDT
I think it is important to stress out that the Gaza strip haven't had
to be evacuated.

The current government of Israel decided that the best intrest of the
country as well as of the area would be to evacuate it and leave it to
the palastinian authority.

The reasons stated above are true but were reached after a long
disscussion in the Israeli Parliment (the Knesset) and also inside the
Israeli society.
Subject: Re: The Gaza Strip
From: capybara-ga on 24 Aug 2005 08:32 PDT
Unfortunately, the Gaza Strip has had a mixed population of Jews and
arabs for over 2000 years. That means that any evacuation of the Jews
living in the Gaza Strip constitutes ethnic cleansing; and is only
being carried out due to the xenophobic urges of the arabs living
there. The only period in the recorded history of the area when there
were no Jews living in Gaza was between 1948 and 1967 due to the
Egyptian invasion during the War of Independence which forced Jews
living in Gaza to flee into Israel.

It is perhaps ironic that when Jews returned to Gaza after 1967 they
were forced to be continuously guarded by soldiers to prevent more
massacres from the arab population; although the Jews predated the
arabs by a substantial span of years. The Gaza Strip was the economic
Jewish center in the Vilayet of Greater Syria in the 14th century;
producing wine and textiles for the Ottoman Empire. Nowadays, due to a
vast influx of arab refugees in 1948, world opinion seems to consider
this as arab land. The only way to consider the Gaza Strip arab land
is to disregard all of history that is more than 50 years old;
disregard every census ever carried out by either the Ottomans, the
British or the Israeli authorities; disregard every massacre ever
carried out on the Jews by arabs.

A solution to the "problem" of the Gaza Strip would have been to force
the arabs living there to accept Jewish habitation of apartments
within Gaza City; as had been the norm for centuries. The Jews could
have resided under a palestinian government willing to ensure their
security - no Israeli soldiers would have been necessary. However,
from a purely legal, moral and historical perspective the Gaza Strip
constitutes occupied Jewish land and the arabs living there are most
definately settlers of whom over 90% can be shown to have immigrated
into the area after the start of the 20th century. Perhaps that is the
great joke of our time. When a settler can call the original owner a
settler - who then is the owner?

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