Al Qassam website - On this day in 2005, the Israeli occupation authorities withdrew their armed forces and illegal settlers from the Gaza Strip with their tails between their legs.
Faced with spiralling costs of administering the territory, the Israeli occupation decided to pull out of 21 illegal settlements in the Gaza Strip. Some colonial settlers unwilling to leave were dragged from their houses.
Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of the abandoned settlements, which had been off-limits for decades, rejoicing over the end of the 38-year-long occupation of the tiny coastal enclave and aspiring for a better future.
Seventeen years later, the Israeli occupation has not actually withdrawn from Gaza; it still maintains control of Gaza’s land fences and access to the sea and airspace. Gaza's 2.1 million population remains under remote control occupation and a strict siege, which has destroyed the local economy and stifled Palestinian livelihoods.
Since Israel’s 2005 pullout, the Israeli occupation has inflicted all forms of aggression against the besieged Strip through its military offensives and 15-year-long siege, which has put various sectors on the brink of collapse.
Throughout its decade and a half-long siege of Gaza, the Israeli occupation has launched four bloody military offensives and innumerable aerial attacks against the Gaza Strip, killing more than 4,200 Palestinian citizens and injuring tens of thousands.
Gaza’s two-million population experienced several compounding crises, including severe power shortages and scarcity of drinkable water, with water contamination reaching 97 percent.
Due to the crippling blockade and restrictions on imports and exports imposed by the Israeli occupation, Gaza’s economy has dramatically deteriorated.
In turn, the Palestinian resistance that has improved from “rocks to rockets” made the Israeli occupation pay a heavy price for its military occupation of the Gaza Strip, forcing it to dismantle its illegal settlement and withdraw its military forces.
The Israeli occupation's withdrawal was not a gesture of goodwill, as it claimed, but due to the Palestinians’ stubborn resistance and the sacrifices made by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem.
Over the past 17 years, the Palestinian resistance in the blockaded Gaza strip has made significant technological improvements to its means of combat to defend its people against any Israeli occupation forces' possible offensives.
Since 2001, the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation has included the use of high trajectory ballistic surface-to-surface missiles whose advantages are their technical simplicity, low cost, and ability to penetrate deep into the occupation’s entity without triggering a significant response, thereby creating an effect of constant attrition and deterrence.