Shin Bet Chief: Hamas sending terrorists to Iran for training

Tuesday, March 06, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Yuval Diskin, the chief of Israel’s internal security services, said Hamas is sending dozens of terrorists to Iran for training, the New York Times reported.

“We know that Hamas has started to dispatch people to Iran, tens, and a promise of hundreds,” Diskin said at a press conference for foreign journalists.

Diskin said he sees this as a strategic threat and believes the training would last months, even years, adding, “I see this as the strategic danger, more than any weapons smuggled into Gaza.”

Hamas Advisor Ahmed Youssef responded by saying Hamas “has not sent anyone to Iran,” and that Diskin’s comments were “propaganda, to hurt a new government.” He added that this is just an opportunity to send members of the Hamas Executive Force “to Arab countries for police training.”

While Hamas claims it is committed to forming a unity government with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, Diskin feels Hamas is a “ticking time bomb inside the unity government.”

Diskin added that Islamic Jihad is sending operatives to Lebanon for training in rocket manufacturing and antitank weapons, specifically to be used against Israel. He said that if it continues, “at the end of the day we will have to do something about it.”

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