Hamas fighters training in Iran, says Israeli general

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A top Israeli general says Hamas is sending its men abroad, mostly to Iran, to receive professional military training as the group surges forward with plans to establish a standing army in the Gaza Strip.

In an interview with the New York Times, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky said Israeli intelligence has identified at least 100 Hamas members who are currently in Iran receiving military training.

Kaplinsky also confirmed reports that Hamas is importing mass quantities of explosives and advanced weapons into Gaza, and is constructing a sophisticated network of fortifications.

Hamas officials have denied that its men are training in Iran, but has made no secret of its plans to mimic the tactics used by Lebanon's Hizballah with relative success against Israel last summer.

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