President Peres admits Gaza disengagement was a mistake
As he began consultations for the formation of Israel’s post-election cabinet Wednesday, Feb. 18, President Shimon Peres made an extraordinary statement. Addressing the Presidents Conference, hee admitted for the first time that Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005 was a mistake “which will not be repeated.” His decision regarding the future composition would therefore be dictated by its policies, he said. The president has speeded up his consultations with the 12 party factions for selecting a prime ministerial candidate.
Peres, who was vice premier in the government headed by Ariel Sharon which ordered the 2005 evacuation of the Gaza Strip, confessed for the first time that he was wrong to support it. Things should have been differently, he said.
(Israeli forces forcibly evicted 8,500 Israelis living in the Gaza communities – many of whom remain homeless to this day – and opened the way for Hamas’ takeover.)
Peres said: “My problem is less whom to entrust with the role of prime minister but rather the candidate’s policies. The world is undergoing new situations and the new government must adjust its policies accordingly. I do not disqualify any Israeli who was duly elected.”