A majority of Israelis believe the country’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005 was a mistake and that Israel should rebuild Jewish communities there, a new survey by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies think tank has found.
The survey’s findings—63 percent of respondents called disengagement a mistake, and 51 percent supported Jewish rebuilding—contradict opinion polls taken at the time of the disengagement in 2005, which showed strong backing for withdrawing from the coastal territory. Additionally, the survey found that 47 of Israelis oppose evacuating Jewish communities from Judea and Samaria.
Prof. Efraim Inbar, who heads the think tank, said the survey results are generally “surprising,” the Times of Israel reported. Nevertheless, Inbar is personally not surprised that many Israelis have reconsidered their opinion on the Gaza disengagement, especially because Hamas has seized power there and Israel has fought several wars with the Palestinian terror group.
“Since we know a majority of the public in 2005 supported the disengagement, it’s very clear that some of the respondents don’t feel comfortable with their past support for the disengagement and therefore testify today that they opposed it,” Inbar said.