Hamas Forming ‘People’s Army’ For Next War With Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -

Hamas is already gearing up for the next war with Israel.

The Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has declared its intention to form a “people’s army,” enabling Gazans of all ages to carry weapons and defend their own cities, experts in Palestinian affairs said Monday.

Hamas is promoting the idea using posters in mosques calling on young people to join the new force, saying recruits would receive training in various weapons. The focus at this point is on the 14-20 age group, and about 1,800 have reportedly signed up so far.

In its posters, the Qassam Brigades say the new army will prepare to participate in any future war with Israel.

Palestinian political analyst Tayseer Mehesin said the project would face problems, especially in terms of funding. And that Hamas would also encounter pressure from the international community, regional countries and the Palestinian Authority to dissolve the army, which — by its very nature —would pose a threat to Israel..