Avid Editor's Insights

Think tank: Hamas has an army of 20,000

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

I think it is time for Israel to turn that into an army of 0.

Think tank: Hamas has an army of 20,000: ”

An Israeli think tank reports today that since the brilliant
expulsion of Gazas Jews less than three years ago, Hamas has built up
an army of 20,000 men,
much of it trained in Lebanon and Iran. It also has long-range rockets
and advanced anti-tank weapons in the Gaza Strip and has smuggled in
more than eighty tons of weapons.

Entitled ‘Hamass
Military Buildup in the Gaza Strip’, the report – compiled by the
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center – detailed the structure
of the Hamas military force in Gaza, naming commanders of its various
brigades and the type of weapons it has succeeded in smuggling into
Gaza through the Sinai.

According to the think tank that has close ties with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), which provides most of the information in the report, Hamass military buildup is currently at its peak although its completion will take another few years. [In other words, postponing an operation will only make it worse. CiJ]

Hamass
military capabilities are based on the Izzedin al-Kassam Brigades – the
groups military wing responsible for the terror attacks against Israel.

In the event of a large-scale Israeli invasion of Gaza, the report claims that Hamas
would refrain from fighting against the IDF in open areas but would
instead channel the fighting into more densely-populated areas
. [Where they have lots of human shields. CiJ]

‘Hizbullahs
success in providing an asymmetric response to the IDFs might during
the second Lebanon war made it a role model for Hamas,’ the report
states. ‘The lessons of the second Lebanon war also illustrated the
importance of having a strong military force which could stand fast and
survive to protect Hamass control of the Gaza Strip, like the military
force Hizbullah established in south Lebanon.’

The commander of
the al-Kassam Brigades, which numbers 10,000 operatives, is Ahmed
Jaabri, who took over following the assassination attempt on Mohammed
Deif in July 2006 that left the supreme Hamas commander seriously
injured.

In addition to the brigades, Hamas also controls the
Executive Force which numbers another 10,000 operatives. There are also
another 3-4 thousand operatives who belong to other terror groups –
Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine etc. – and
these would also likely join Hamass fight against the IDF in the event
of an Israeli invasion.

According to the report, the northern
Gaza brigade is commanded by Ahmed Ghandour; two brigades in Gaza City
are commanded by Jaabari; the central Gaza brigade is commanded by
Ayman Nawfal who is currently in prison in Egypt and two brigades in
southern Gaza – one in Khan Yunis and one in Rafah – are respectively
commanded by Muhammad Sinwar and Raed al-Atar.

Haaretz adds:

The
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center also said that Israels
2005 pullout from Gaza enabled the militant Palestinian group to boost
its power in the coastal strip, over which it gained control in a
violent takeover in June 2006.

The
Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in August 2005 created a new
situation which accelerated the establishment of an area fully
controlled by Hamas. It was quick to use its increased military power
to make political capital in internal Palestinian affairs
,’ the study states. [For Haaretz, thats an astounding admission. They are effectively admitting that the disengagement was a huge mistake. CiJ]

Iran and Syria supply Hamas with weapons, technical knowhow and training, the study also stated.

Futhermore,
the study said the Islamic group has smuggled 80 tons of explosives
into the Gaza Strip since it seized the territory last year.

But lets give the moderate Abu Mazen some more territory that he and
Hamas can use to build an army in Judea and Samaria and then the whole
country can be like Sderot. Eh Ehud?

Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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