Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hamas re-arms

from Jerusalem Post, Jun. 27, 2005 2:12 By MATTHEW GUTMAN

Hamas is using the lull in fighting to raise an "army" of several thousand fighters in the Gaza Strip to complement its developing arsenal of Kassam rockets and mortars, an IDF source told The Jerusalem Post Sunday.

....Hamas is believed to have stockpiled an arsenal of hundreds of Kassam rockets and many more primitive mortars. "The Kassam factoriescontinue to operate, and we are not doing anything to stop them," the source said.

...The current intelligence assessment considers Hamas's military build-up an insurance policy not only against Israel, but against the Palestinian Authority as well, "just in case Abu Mazen [PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] moves to strip Hamas of its weapons," he said.

....Hamas spokesman Moshir al-Masri denied that his group is building an army though "we affirm our commitment to fight the occupation with the appropriate means."

...Hamas is currently listed in a category of its own in intelligence assessments. It is neither in the jihadist groups, whose sole raison d'etre is the destruction of Israel, nor in the friendly camp of Egypt, Jordan and the PA, but in a category called "undecided."

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