11-year-old Muhammad declares: "I am learning how to fight the Jews and kill Jewish children." (Ynetnews)
JERUSALEM – In what some may view as a complete turning of the tables, several major Palestinian terrorist organizations this past weekend staged what they called military training exercises on the grounds of Gush Katif, the former slate of Jewish communities inside the Gaza Strip that were uprooted by Israel three years ago.
The exercises were aimed at preparing for attacks against Israel, said terrorist leaders.
"The old (Jewish) settlements gave the Palestinian resistance enough space to have big trainings. We never had this space and these possibilities when the Zionists were in Gaza," Abu Muhammad, a senior Gaza-based leader of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, told WND in an interview.
"The resistance is having a second benefit from chasing the Jews from Gaza. [This weekend's exercise] was proof of the big victory, using land they were occupying for training in preparing us for our next great victory," Abu Muhammad said.
The terrorist said there were currently "serious bases, serious camps, storage for arms and tools" now located in Gush Katif.
On Saturday, Islamic Jihad staged a military parade in Gush Katif that reportedly included training drills for group members.
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Abu Muhammad said those drills stressed Hezbollah-like guerilla operations, such as exercises in raiding Israel's border with Gaza and kidnapping of Israeli troops; shooting practice using automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs; and explosives testing.
He said Islamic Jihad was using a cease-fire with Israel, forged last June, to stock up on weapons and increase the range of the group's rockets, which for three years have devastated Jewish towns located near Gaza.
He claimed his group now possesses "hundreds" of improved rockets that place "all the Israelis south" within range.
Also this weekend, the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization showcased its own training in the evacuated Gaza Jewish town of Kfar Darom, which previously housed tree-lined Jewish streets replete with synagogues and Jewish seminaries.
Notable about the Committees training was that it included dozens of boys between the ages of nine and twelve, according to Committees leaders.
The Ynetnews Israeli website featured an interview with one young Committees recruit, an 11-year-old boy named Muhammad pictured holding an assault rifle.
"I am learning how to fight the Jews and kill Jewish children," Muhammad told Ynetnews. "I would rather die fighting the occupation than die at home from a missile, which is what happened to hundreds of Palestinian children."
Committees terror group spokesman Muhammad Abdel-Al, also known as Abu Abir, told WND yesterday his group was not brainwashing children.
"We are not educating them on hatred. This is our strategy – to turn all the Palestinian people into weapons of resistance," Abdel-Al said when questioned about his group's use of boys.
Israel evacuated Gush Katif's nearly 10,000 Jewish residents during the country's retreat under fire from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. Following Israel's capture of Gaza in the 1967 Six Day War, during which Egypt used the territory to attack the Jewish state, successive Israeli governments over the years urged thousands of Israelis to move to Gaza and build communities there.
Prior to Israel's 2005 retreat, many Palestinian terror groups announced they would use the territory to stage attacks against Israel.
For the past three years, thousands of rockets have been fired by Palestinians in Gaza aimed at nearby Jewish communities.
To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or
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