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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

The ruins of two large synagogues in Gush Katif, the evacuated Jewish communities of the Gaza Strip, have been transformed into a military base used by Palestinian groups to fire rockets at Israeli cities and train for attacks against the Jewish state, according to a senior terror leader in Gaza.

When Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, it left intact 20 Gush Katif synagogues following an Israeli Cabinet decision against demolishing the structures. Immediately after the Israeli evacuation was completed, Palestinians mobs destroyed most of the Gaza synagogues, including two major synagogues in Neve Dekalim, the largest Gush Katif community.

Speaking to WorldNetDaily from Neve Dekalim, Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization, said the area where the synagogues once stood now is utilized by his group:

“We are proud to turn these lands, especially these parts that were for long time the symbol of occupation and injustice, like the synagogue, into a military base and source of fire against the Zionists and the Zionist entity,” Abu Abir said.

The Committees is a coalition of terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank responsible for launching hundreds of rockets from Gaza aimed at nearby Jewish towns.

Abu Abir blamed the Palestinian desecration of the Gaza synagogues on the Jewish state, claiming the decision to leave the structures intact was part of an Israeli conspiracy.

“The Zionists left these so-called synagogues in order to make that one day media outlets like WorldNetDaily would raise the pathetic and rude argument about what we have done to the poor Zionists’ holy places. [Israel] left the synagogues behind so the world would see the Palestinians destroying them,” Abu Abir said.

The terrorist leader claimed the mob destruction of the synagogues was not planned but was a spontaneous outburst of “happiness.”

“The looting and burning of the synagogues was a great joy. There was no intention to desecrate them but this was part of the great joy the young men had when they destroyed everything that could remind us of the occupation. It was in an unplanned expression of happiness that these synagogues were destroyed.”

Gaza Withdrawal Supporter Admits ‘Mistake‘

A highly esteemed supporter of Israel’s evacuation of the Gaza Strip now calls it a “mistaken” policy that has damaged the country’s security. Meir Amit, former director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, publicly supported the Gaza evacuation prior to its implementation.

“Israel had good intentions at the time,” Amit told WND in an interview. “It was our way of fighting terrorism and tackling the Palestinian issue.”

But looking back, he said, the withdrawal “proved to be a mistake.” Amit cited rockets regularly fired from the northern Gaza Strip at nearby Jewish communities, hundreds of tons of weapons reportedly smuggled into Gaza from the neighboring Egyptian Sinai desert, multiple terror attacks orchestrated from Gaza and reports that global jihad groups moved into the territory.

“All this makes clear we didn’t succeed in Gaza,” Amit said.

The former Mossad chief recommended the Israeli army make local incursions into the Gaza Strip to stem the flow of weapons smuggling, confiscate weaponry already brought into Gaza, deal a blow to the terror infrastructure there and clean out rocket-launching areas.

Iran Making War Plans

Iran is anticipating a U.S. or Israeli military strike on its nuclear facilities and has been providing Palestinian terrorists and other regional allies with contingency plans for attacks against the Jewish state and American regional interests in the event of war, according to Iranian-backed Palestinian terrorist leaders.

A senior leader of the Islamic Jihad terror group told WND that Tehran is expecting to be attacked, but he didn’t provide a time frame in which Iran anticipates a strike.

He claimed that during any attack his organization has been directed by Iran to “wreak havoc” on Israel with suicide bombings, rocket attacks and “special surprises.” He said rocket attacks would be launched from both the Gaza Strip and from the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem.

He threatened his terror group will target American interests in the Middle East whether or not any purported strike against Tehran is carried out by Israel or the U.S.

Abu Ahmed, the northern West Bank chief of Fatah’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terror organization, told WND that all major Palestinian militant organizations are preparing to work together in the event Iran is attacked.

Israeli security officials told WND Israel is not currently planning to strike Iran. Speaking theoretically, they said if any war breaks out involving Iran, they expect Syria, Hizbullah and Palestinian terrorists to join the fray and attack Israel.

The security officials said the greatest threat Syria poses to the Jewish state is the country’s missiles. They noted Syria recently test-fired two Scud-D surface-to-surface missiles, which have a range of about 250 miles, covering most Israeli territory. The officials said the Syrian missile test was coordinated with Iran and is believed to have been successful. It is not known what type of warhead the missiles were armed with.

According to reports in the Israeli media, Syria, aided by Iranian officers, has been boosting its army and navy. The reports, denied by Damascus, claimed that Syria last week was moving troops closer to the border with Israel.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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