Friday, Jan. 16th 2009

Israel Destroys Hamas Unit Trained by IRGC

The “Iranian Unit” of Hamas, composed of Hamas members trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has been “destroyed” by the Israeli Defense Force, according to The website reported,

most of the unit’s members were killed in fighting in the Zeytun neighborhood, where they had been deployed by the military leadership of Hamas.

The unit numbered approximately 100 men who had traveled to Iran and Hezbollah camps, mostly in the Beka’a Valley, where they were trained in infantry fighting tactics. The militants were also trained in the use of anti-tank missiles, the detonation of explosives, among other skills.

They managed to return to the Gaza Strip through tunnels in the Rafah border area, although a few also crossed during one of the few times that Egypt agreed to open the border crossing as a gesture of good will to Hamas.

Analysis:Clearly, Israel has targeted Iranian supplied and trained forces during its ground operations in Gaza. Although such attacks on Hamas units trained by the IRGC degrade the abilities of such units to attack Israel, such action does not address the more persistent threat of the influence and capability Iran gains by recruiting, training, equipping, and guiding proxy forces in Gaza.

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