The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said on Thursday its interior ministry was reorganizing the navy service to secure the shores of the enclave.
Ihab al-Ghussein, spokesman of the ministry, told the press that the navy force "will oversee the beach to prevent any troubles that may threaten the country's security like drug smuggling."
Members of Hamas police, known as the Executive Force, will join the navy force, along with the old members who are affiliated with the Fatah movement loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, he added.
Al-Ghussein made the remarks following Israeli reports saying Hamas was setting up a marine force after it had established an intelligence agency.
According to Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Hamas will also prevent Palestinian collaborators from meeting Israeli officers offshore.
The new force, which has no vessels or gunboats, has installed mortar canons by the beach and said that they have forcibly stopped Israeli fire against Palestinian fishing boats, according to the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Hamas denied reports on its acceptance of an offer to give up pro-Abbas security headquarters in the Gaza Strip to Egypt which will hand them over to Abbas.
"We did not see this proposal and Egypt can't involve itself as a key and direct side in Hamas-Fatah difference," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told reporters.
Last Mod: 10 Ağustos 2007, 09:53