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'Hamas planning military staff college'

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    Hamas planning military staff college Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 1, 2009
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2009
      '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.
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