Authored by: Joel Peters

The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415778626
eBook ISBN: 9780203079553
Adobe ISBN: 9781136160691


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At the start of 2004, Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, declared that Israel would evacuate all settlements and unilaterally withdraw its military forces from Gaza. Sharon was true to his word. In August 2005, Israel dismantled the Gazan settlements and military outposts, thus ending its thirty-eight years of military occupation. At the time, many observers regarded Israel's disengagement from Gaza as a defining moment in Israeli–Palestinian relations. Supporters of the disengagement plan heralded it as a move that would reignite the moribund peace process, allowing the Palestinians to build the institutions for self-government and set the foundations for Palestinian statehood. Such optimism proved illusory. The hoped-for momentum in the peace process failed to materialize. Instead, the disengagement has led to a marked decline in the socio-economic and living conditions in Gaza, and to a deterioration in the security environment for both Gaza and Israel.

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