The force's Hamas activists and its military wing, Izz Aldin Al-Qassam, continue, while in the police service, to constitute an integral part of the military wing, striving to carry out attacks against Israeli targets.
Features of the Hamas Executive Force (Tanfithia)
Despite its victory in the elections for the Legislative Council (January 2006) and forming a government in its leadership; Hamas never gained control over the security apparatuses, which continued to be dominated by its rival – Fatah.
In light of that, Hamas formed (April-May 2006) a military-oriented security force which was to comprise the government's executive force. It was called the Executive Force (Tanfithia in Arabic) or Hamas police.
The force has been manned with Hamas activists and its military-wing operatives, of which Izz Aldin Al-Qassam senior operatives constituted the main commanding echelons.
The newly recruited commanders and subordinates were not obliged to give up their military wing affiliation, and they continue to operate in "dual function" (simultaneously in both entities), while cooperating with the military wing and utilizing its equipment and weapons.
It should be stressed that this force was the prominent factor leading the violent clashes between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip during Hamas takeover, and turned it into the exclusive authority.
Establishing the Hamas police and incorporating the Executive Force
Following its takeover of the Gaza Strip (June 2007) Hamas established a police force under the Ministry of the Interior. The Executive Force (Tanfithia) was merged into this police force and thus ceased to exist as an independent entity. Hamas activists as well as activists of other Gaza-Strip-based terror groups also joined the police force.
Albeit the merge and the functioning of the force as an integral part of the police, no distinction was drawn between the military wing operatives incorporated into the police force, and their activity as a terror agent against Israel.
It is best manifested in the "Shahid" banners, mourning Hamas-police casualties during the Gaza Operation, who were pronounced military wing operatives, as well as in public statements of Hamas senior officials, who have not disclaimed it.
Thus, Fathi Hamad, Hamas Minister of the Interior, was reported claiming the security apparatuses will "foster the resistance and preserve the Jihad option", as opposed to Fatah's security apparatuses which, as he phrased it, "have confronted the resistance and conducted security coordination with the enemy".
Such an attitude is also demonstrated in statements of Jamal Jarah, a former Hamas military wing senior official, today serving as the Hamas police acting commander. He delivered a media statement (the Palmedia web-site) following the Gaza Operation, saying "the police fought shoulder to shoulder with the resistance and helped it protect the land of Gaza. The police also succeeded in protecting the home-front by monitoring collaborators, pursuing and arresting them".
Hamas-police dual function is indicated in the interrogations' findings of several Gaza-Strip-based Hamas activists, arrested throughout the Gaza Operation by the ISA:
• One of the detainees disclosed in his interrogation the fact that Hamas police commander in Beit Hanoun is commanding several squads, one of which executes rocket launching towards Israel, while others conduct shooting against IDF forces.
• Another detained activist, who served as a look-out for the military wing, disclosed in his interrogation, that a Beit Hanoun resident known to him as a military wing activist and a member of the Hamas Executive Force, used to call him inquiring about his observations of IDF movements.
• Another interrogation indicated that a close link between the internal security apparatus and Hamas military wing produced a close cooperation between the two regarding weapons and training facilities. Furthermore, Executive Force operatives, also functioning as traffic-police, walk about armed with AK47 assault rifles.
Hamas police, which is an integral part of the security layout of the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip – is predominantly consisted of Hamas military wing terrorists, Izz Aldin Al-Qassam. Thus, despite the fact that routinely the police force is engaged in policing missions, public order and criminal offences - its officers are de facto still part of Hamas combat troops, participating in military activity against the IDF; from shooting towards the IDF and monitoring its movements to terror activity against Israel.