After the dust has settled and Israel concludes its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, a key issue will be whether the move will enhance its security or not. Will it be perceived as a "victory for terror" as the right wing has claimed, or a "base for Islamic terror" as former Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said? Or will it enhance Israel's overall security posture? There is absolutely no question at all that from a security perspective this move will in the short, medium and long run only enhance Israel's security.
The Gaza settlements were a strategic dinosaur. They were built in the early 1970s as a buffer between a hostile Egypt and a hostile Gaza. Israel has been at peace with Egypt for almost three decades. The nearest Egyptian gun or tank to the border with Israel is on the other side of the Suez Canal, hundreds of kilometers away. Given the massive military outlay in protecting the 8,000 or so settlers, Gush Katif had turned from a strategic asset to a strategic burden.