It is now nine years since then-prime minister Ariel Sharon’s “disengagement ” from Gaza, a euphemism for the uprooting of 10,000 people from their land and the destruction of their homes.

The thanks Sharon got for his gesture to the Palestinians were barrages of Hamas rockets fired at towns and villages in southern Israel. Before the withdrawal, Hamas had targeted mostly the settlers in Gaza’s Gush Katif. Since then it has progressively extended the range of the areas under attack.

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