Hamas commander: Iran training our men

Recounts to 'Sunday Times' the methods used in training terrorists to fight Israel.

Hamas gunman 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Hamas gunman 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
A week after Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin informed the cabinet that Hamas terrorists train in Iran, a commander in the extremist militia admitted as much to The Sunday Times. Reportedly, the group has been sending gunmen to train with Iran's Revolutionary Guards for the past two years. Currently, the unnamed commander told the British paper, some 150 gunmen are being trained. Hamas's members enter Iran via Syria and avoid having their passports stamped. Syria is also home to "more basic training" than that given in Iran. Gunmen deemed of outstanding quality receive extra training and return to train others in Gaza. The most promising members of each group stay longer for an advanced course and return as trainers themselves, he said. Those unfit for combat return to "serve" in a research unit. The training lasts between 45 days and six months and is overseen by Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards. Syria, the man said, currently hosts 62 Hamas gunmen and has already trained 650. The trainers are themselves Iranian-trained. The commander said Hamas now has 15,000 fighters and added that the group had modeled itself after Hizbullah.