Disengagement Plan

This term defines the components of the Disengagement Plan from Gaza.

Definition

The term Disengagement Plan refers to a plan presented by PM Arial Sharon, whose target is Israeli unilateral military and civilian withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the Northern Samaria (West Bank).

Background

The Disengagement Plan was first presented by PM Sharon in his Hertzeliya Speech (12/03). It was launched against the backdrop of difficulties to advance to the 2nd Phase of the Road Map and the continuation of violence. The plan is based on the assumption that, at that stage, there was no Palestinian partner that Israel could negotiate with.

In the Exchange of Letters Concerning the Disengagement Plan (4/14/04) (hereinafter the Exchange of Letters), PM Sharon presented the Disengagement Plan to the USA and received American endorsement framing the Plan in the context of the Roadmap (4/03).

The Government of Israel (hereinafter GOI) approved the Disengagement Plan, accompanied by the Exchange of Letters (4/18/04). As a result of criticism, PM Sharon decided to hold a referendum about the Disengagement Plan among members of the Likud Party, who rejected the Plan (5/2/04). Thereafter, a revised Disengagement Plan (framed as “Addendum A” and “Addendum C”) was approved by the GOI (6/6/04) stating that the GOI will decide about each phase of the redeployment separately.1

Key Points of the Disengagement Plan

The premise of the Disengagement Plan is that, at this stage, there is no Palestinian partner with whom to negotiate. Therefore, Israel should pursue its interest to disengage itself from the Gaza Strip and parts of West Bank unilaterally;2

In principle, there will be a freeze of construction in settlements, exceptions notwithstanding. A mechanism for compensating settlers for their evacuation will be established;3


Israel will evacuate settlements and military bases from the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria,4 Upon completion of preparatory work, the GOI will decide on specific aspects of relocation;5

Israel will maintain control and supervision of the outer envelope on land, air and sea including the Philadelphi Route on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt;6

Following the withdrawal, Israel and the Palestinians will return to the implementation of the Roadmap;7

The Disengagement Plan will negate the “force of the arguments regarding Israel's responsibility for the residents of the Gaza Strip”; as a result, “there will be no basis to the claim that the Gaza Strip is occupied territory”;8

The original plan mentions that Israel will strive to leave the immovable property relating to Israeli towns and villages intact. The revised plan determines that, in general, houses belonging to the settlers, and other sensitive structures such as synagogues will be dismantled;9

Israel will aspire to reduce the number of Palestinian workers entering Israel, and eventually to completely stop their entrance.10



1 The settlements were classified into four groups that will be evacuated gradually: Group A - Morag, Netzarim, and Kfar Darom; Group B – the villages of Northern Samaria; Group C – the towns and villages of Gush Katif; Group D – the villages of the Northern Gaza Strip.
2 The original plan explicitly mentions that the meaning behind President Bush’s Vision is the Two States Solution. This was omitted in later versions. See Article 1.
3 This appears only in the last version, see Addendum C.
4 See Articles 2 and 6.
5 This appears only in the last version, see Addendum C.
6 See Article 3.
7 See Article 1.
8 See Articles 1 and 2.
9 See Article 7 (both versions).

10 See Article 10.

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