The Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza - A Constitutional Perspective
18 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2008
Date Written: 2006
The withdrawal (disengagement) from the Gaza strip, including the dismantling of Jewish settlements and evacuation of Jewish settlers, was the main Israeli Government's policy during the years 2004-2005. The Israeli Government voted in favor of the Disengagement, and the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) ratified the plan by a majority vote. Despite the massive public pressure wielded by the settlers and their supporters, the Disengagement Plan was not submitted for a national referendum, primarily because the referendum is not an accepted procedure in the Israeli representative democracy. Supported by their religious leadership, the settlers and their supporters launched a campaign challenging the evacuation's legitimacy. Attempting to prevent its implementation, they resorted to numerous protest measures, including marches and demonstrations. The purpose of this article is to examine the most important decisions relating to the Disengagement Plan. As it will be shown, the High Court undertook a substantive examination of all the petitions relating to the disengagement. It exercised close and ongoing supervision of the process; it confirmed and legitimized all of the decisions, and was a full and active partner to the Disengagement Plan, defending both its legality and its constitutionality at all stages. Conceivably, another court in another place would have perhaps declined to intervene or even give judicial consideration to this kind of State-political decision, which was also the source of a deep political-public controversy. Not so the Israeli Court, which became a full and senior partner to the entire plan.
Keywords: Constitutional law, Israel, withdrawal, Gaza
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