Hamas reportedly planning military staff college

Defense officials to 'Post': Gaza op taught group that commanders hadn't been trained well enough.

April 1, 2009 00:01
1 minute read.
Hamas reportedly planning military staff college

hamas training 224 88. (photo credit: AP)

Hamas plans to establish a staff and command school to train its military commanders ahead of a future conflict with Israel, defense officials told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. According to the officials, the school will be established in line with the lessons learned from Hamas's poor showing in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in January. "Following the operation, Hamas realized that its field commanders had not been trained well enough in how to maneuver and fight against a conventional [and] well-trained military such as the IDF," explained one Israeli defense official. Hamas, the official said, was often afraid to engage the IDF during Cast Lead, and as a result withdrew its forces from the areas in which Israel was operating. "Hamas wants to learn how to fight against us," the official explained. "The group realizes that it needs to establish a real school to teach and train its field commanders." All IDF field officers undergo training at the army's Staff and Command College, which is based at Glilot. The training takes place throughout their careers, until they become brigade and division commanders. Many Hamas commanders and fighters have been trained in Iran and Lebanon. According to Jane's Defense Weekly, the group has decided to fire 50 of its senior field commanders for poor performance against the IDF in January. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday praised the IDF Judge Advocate General's decision to close a Military Police investigation into claims made by graduates of a pre-induction military prep course that soldiers had indiscriminately shot civilians during the operation. "There is now no doubt regarding the conduct of the IDF, and I repeat, there is no army that investigates itself so thoroughly," Barak said during a tour of the northern border with Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. He added that the findings had proved yet again that the IDF was the most moral army in the world. "Sometimes, civilians are also killed, but there is no army that carries out its missions with such integrity, professionalism and devotion, and that tries so hard to avoid harming non-combatants," Barak said.

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