Synagogue becomes terrorist training center

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel's largest daily newspaper on Tuesday published photographs of a synagogue in a former Jewish town in Gaza that has now been transformed into a Hamas training center.

Where Jews once worshipped God, Islamic terrorists now rehearse the murder and abduction of Israelis, reported Yediot Ahronot.

In the run-up to the 2005 forced evacuation of Gaza's Jewish population, Israel wrestled over what to do with synagogues and other public buildings in the 21 Jewish communities across the coastal territory.

Ultimately, those who argued it was not permitted to destroy places of worship won out, and the synagogues were left standing amid naive hopes that the Palestinians would refrain from desecrating them.

Less than 24 hours after the last Israeli soldier left Gaza, however, many of the synagogues were defaced and burned. But some were left standing for more devious purposes.

In the photos published Tuesday, masked and heavily armed Hamas members sporting praises to Allah on their headbands were shown executing a mock assault against the synagogue in the former Jewish town of Atzmona.

In addition to training camps, some former Jewish communities in Gaza have also been transformed into bases from which Palestinian forces launch rocket and mortar attacks on towns and villages in southern Israel.

The international community and the world media have by and large ignored the Palestinians' illegal treatment of Gaza's synagogues and their cynical use of former Jewish towns to practice and launch attacks against Israelis.

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