The Staggering Cost of Disengagement
Removing the Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria is costing Israel an estimated $2 billion—about 3.5 percent of its 2005 state budget. It also means:
- 42 day-care centers, 36 kindergartens, seven elementary schools, and three high schools have closed.
- 5,000 schoolchildren now need to find new schools.
- 38 synagogues were dismantled.
- 166 Israeli farmers have lost their livelihoods—as have some 5,000 of their Palestinian workers.
- 48 graves in the Gush Katif Cemetery, including those of six residents murdered by terrorists, were exhumed and moved to Israel proper.
The cost of family relocation alone is estimated to be nearly $1 billion of the country’s annual $59 million state budget. In addition, the Israel Defense Forces will spend some $500 million to remove military bases and equipment from the Gaza Strip, and demolition and removal of rubble from some 3,000 homes and public buildings will cost an estimated $25 million. The estimated $2 billion cost of disengagement is equivalent to about half the country’s annual health budget or approximately one third of the budget for education.