Islamic University of Gaza was founded by the late Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin

A Hamas-affiliated university with a history of involvement in terrorist activity today opened a branch in a former Gaza Strip Jewish community, building on the foundations of evacuated Jewish structures.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh led today’s dedication ceremony officially opening a new campus of Islamic University in the former Jewish town of Nitzarim, south of Gaza City. Sections of the campus were constructed using the foundations of the remains of Jewish buildings, which were mostly demolished by Israel prior to its withdrawal in August 2005. The new school features classrooms, chemistry labs, faculty offices and a mosque.

Islamic University was founded by Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in 2004.

The university’s main campus in Gaza City has been used by Hamas’ so-called military wing to recruit terrorists and suicide bombers, according to Israeli and Palestinian security officials. The officials said chemistry labs were used to manufacture and improve explosives for Hamas-affiliated militias.

Previous Israeli raids of the main university campus in Gaza yielded mass quantities of weaponry and Hamas incitement material.

Officials from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party last month claimed they captured seven Iranian military trainers – including a general of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards – inside Gaza City’s Islamic University, which they said was being utilized as a Hamas military training ground.

The Fatah officials said they also found about 1,000 Qassam rockets and equipment to manufacture the rockets inside the university. They previously suspected kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was being held for a time on the university grounds.

A leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, a Hamas-affilated terror group, told WND Islamic University is “extremely important” for recruitment of militants. He said several members of his group study chemistry at the university to aid in the manufacture of explosives and suicide belts. The Committees is responsible for hundreds of rocket attacks from Gaza aimed at nearby Jewish cities.

Nitzarim was one of 17 communities that comprised Gush Katif, the former Jewish neighborhoods of the Gaza Strip evacuated by Israel. The city previously housed Jewish schools, synagogues, museums and produce farms that exported fruits and vegetables.

The opening of Islamic University’s new campus follows a WND exclusive story earlier this week reporting the ruins of two large synagogues in Gush Katif 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.

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