Official: Hamas Executive Force merged into police force in Gaza

By Xinhua

Gaza : The Interior Ministry in the deposed Hamas-led Palestinian government has finished merging the Hamas Executive Force into five different police apparatus in the Gaza Strip, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

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Ihab al-Ghusein, a spokesman with the Interior Ministry, made the remarks during a news conference in Gaza.

Al-Ghusein said the mission of the Executive Force “is now over, and it is time to include the force into the official police force that belongs to the ministry of interior.”

The controversial Hamas Executive Force was founded in May 2006by former Interior Minister in the former Hamas-led government Said Siam who said the force is meant to “defend Hamas government and its ministers and establishments.”

After the combination, “the police force in the Gaza Strip now has five apparatus,” al-Ghusein said, adding that there are 8000 policemen, 200 of them in interior security, 700 in personalities’ protection, 200 in civil defense and 600 in national security.

“I believe that this number of police and security forces is quite enough to restore security and keep discipline in the Gaza Strip,” he added.

The Executive Force was one of the major reasons for igniting violent infighting between rival Hamas and Fatah movements which ended up with Hamas’ takeover of the entire Gaza Strip in mid June.