Hamas Launches Navy in Gaza

Palestinian faction is recruiting sailors; now all they need is a ship
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 10, 2007 4:35 PM CDT
Hamas militatants take part in the funeral of Saadi Arqayeq,...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Hamas, the Palestinian faction that seized power in the Gaza Strip in June, is launching a naval defense force, reports the Times. They're busy recruiting sailors—even though they don't have any ships.  “The requirements to join are that you have to be a good soldier, be fit, and know how to swim,” said the Navy's only member.

The new outfit plans to begin patrolling the beaches within a couple of weeks, where it will combat prostitution and drug abuse. And when it does get a boat, the force will search for Israeli spies posing as fishermen. The Navy is another opportunity for the militant Islamist group to demonstrate that it can create order in Gaza, whose economy is on the verge of collapse.