Hamas troops to become main police force

Hamas said its elite Executive Force, which helped the Islamist group seize control of the Gaza Strip in June, will become the territory's main police force.

Hamas troops to become main police force
Hamas said its elite Executive Force, which helped the Islamist group seize control of the Gaza Strip in June, will become the territory's main police force.


The announcement was largely symbolic because the 6,000-man Executive Force has been carrying out day-to-day policing duties since the group routed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah forces.

The official police force in Gaza, loyal to Fatah, has refused to work under the Islamists.

Taher al-Nono, a spokesman for Haniyeh's administration, said the bulk of the Executive Force would become policemen.

"They will be dispersed in various roles, including anti-drug, criminal investigation and traffic control, to get those departments running again after the old policemen refused to return to their jobs," Nono said.

He said a few hundred men would remain as a separate force.

A Fatah official said Hamas was trying to "impose facts on the ground". Abbas's government in the occupied West Bank has ordered the Executive Force to be disbanded, an order rejected by Hamas.

Reuters
Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2007, 14:23
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