Public buildings left standing after the evacuation of Gush Katif reportedly are being used as terrorist training centers.
Yediot Achronot reported Tuesday that videos filmed by Gaza Strip terrorist organizations show Palestinian terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad training at the sites of former Gush Katif public buildings, including synagogues and schools.
The buildings, in areas that are far from Palestinian civilians, are backdrops for kidnapping exercises and urban warfare practice conducted with live ammunition.
Gush Katif, a settlement bloc in southern Gaza, was evacuated in August 2005. Some 8,000 residents were forced to leave.
Having the Gush buildings is a boon to the terrorist organizations and their budgets, according to Yediot. The Israel Defense Forces, for example, construct buildings and training areas, including entire neighborhoods, for these kinds of training exercises.
Though many in the government wanted to destroy all of the Jewish public buildings in Gush Katif after it was evacuated, several government ministers supported leaving the public buildings for the benefit of the Palestinian people. Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled in September 2005 that the buildings should remain standing.