Some fourteen months earlier, the Israeli government, under Prime Minister Sharon, approves withdrawal of all Israeli civilians and military personnel from the 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip. Notion and reality of withdrawing from Gaza causes a tumultuous internal debate. Israel likewise leaves four settlements in the West Bank. Hamas’ forced takeover of Gaza in June 2007 becomes an immediate security hazard for Israel. Regular Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israeli settlements force Israelis to remain extraordinarily hesitant to consider, at least for the time being, any further territorial withdrawals on any fronts. The Gaza withdrawal unleasehes relentless Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians, resulting in three intense Israeli military conflicts with Hamas, in January 2009, November 2012, and in July 2014.
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