'Hamas planning military staff college'
- 'Hamas planning military staff college'
Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 1, 2009
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
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
"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.