With the destruction of Gush Katif coming right after Tisha B'Av, the anniversary of the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash, we can only conclude that they are connected. I have felt--and have heard others say--that HaShem sent us a not-so-subtle message about His displeasure about the state of His House.
For now, the only message I can see in this horrendous act of shtuth is that it was a wake-up call for Am Yisrael, that we have been negligent in rebuilding the Bet HaMikdash.
How indeed can we merit such beautiful houses in the Land of Israel when his house lies in ruins? Kal v'chomer with those who live in comfort in voluntary Exile in Galuth.
In a related note, two friends went up to Har HaBayit on Tisha B'Av and gave me a great dvar Torah:
That Har HaBayit lies in ruins is not the fault of the government, nor even of the Israeli public. It's the fault of the religious public who by and large are not really bothered by the lack of a Temple.
These people, who have been burning garbage cans in Jerusalem--who are probably neturei kitnyos--would burn garbage cans if the government were to allow us to build the Bet HaMikdash on Har HaBayit. They'd claim that Mashiach hadn't arrived and/or that it was pasul (invalid) because it didn't drop from the sky.
I regretfully feel that they'd even burn garbage cans and riot if the government were to allow--or even build--a shul on Har HaBayit.
So what's the remedy?
Simply put, we must go up to Har HaBayit, in purity, to the acceptible places--and spread the word. Once the Torah public is with us, we shall be able to restore the House of the Lord and the houses of our brothers and sisters in Gush Katif and the northern Shomron.
As Rav Yehoshua Buch of Machon Shilo wrote in his Kinna for Gush Katif:
There is an end and there is hope, And the sons will return to their borders.And then we will sing a new song like Shirat-HaYam.