Hamas to start optional military service for Gazans: official
Interior Minister of deposed Hamas government in Gaza Fathi Hammad announced on Tuesday that his ministry intends to start optional, instead of compulsory, military service for Gaza residents, Xinhua reported.
"It's an important step to prepare the men and women of Gaza to confront any new Israeli aggression," Hammad told reporters as he inaugurated a police training center in northern Gaza.
Israel launched a large-scale military operation on the Gaza Strip in December 2008, killing at least 1,400 Palestinians including hundreds of militants and policemen.
In the same context, spokesman for Hammad's ministry Ihab al- Ghussein said a ministerial committee is working on orchestrating a study on the issue of the military service that would be later submitted to the government for the final approval.
"The study is about the optional instead of compulsory military service," al-Ghussein told a press conference in Gaza.
Hamas security forces has around 13,000 members entitled to maintain public order in the territory.
The movement also has a military wing that embraces thousands of well-trained fighters whose main mission is to defy Israeli raids and fire rockets on the Jewish state.