Speaker Edelstein unveils statue commemorating the Gush Katif communities; says ”Knesset`s duty is to remind people of its difficult decision to evacuate”

During a ceremony held at the Knesset`s Kedma entrance on Monday, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein unveiled a small bronze statue commemorating the uprooting of the communities in Gush Katif and northern Samaria during the disengagement from Gaza in 2005.

The statue, by Israeli artist Aharon Shevo, shows a palm tree sprouting out of a Star of David, symbolizing the pain of being uprooted and the ability to grow anew out of that pain. The names of the 21 Gush Katif communities and the four northern Samaria communities that were uprooted are engraved on the sides of the monument. The statue is a small replica of a monument, also designed by Shevo, which was erected at the Katif Center in Nitzan.

Speaker Edelstein unveils statue commemorating Gush Katif communities; says ”Knesset has a duty to remind people of its difficult decision to evacuate”

”It is only fitting that the Knesset, which decided [to evacuate the Gush Katif communities], will remember, and remind those who visit it of the communities of Gush Katif and northern Samaria – the [building of settlements], the agriculture and the settlers themselves. I hope this work of art will generate interest among the visitors of the Knesset,” Edelstein said during the ceremony, adding that there was no ”political purpose” behind his decision to have the replica placed at one of the Knesset`s entrances.

”As long as I am Speaker of the Knesset, it will remain in the parliament building,” he stated. ”I hope future speakers will understand that the place where difficult decisions were reached is also the place that must remember and remind people of these decisions.”

Shevo also spoke during the ceremony.

The Knesset`s legal advisor, Eyal Yinon, rejected claims by Peace Now Director Yariv Oppenheimer, and ruled that there is no basis for preventing the placement of the statue at the Knesset.

Yinon stated in his answer that the statue can be moved or removed, and is not a ”permanent memorial.”