The Middle East Newsline has revealed that the Hamas regime in Gaza has sought military assistance from other Islamic countries to offset dependency on Iran.

According to Hamas sources, the Islamist leadership in Gaza City has decided to acquire military training and assistance from countries other than Iran and Syria. They said the Hamas policy was drafted in the wake of the war with Israel because Hamas was virtually entirely dependent on Tehran during the conflict.

“There is no intention to replace Iran, which remains important,” a Hamas source said. “But much of Iranian guidance was not relevant for us in the war.”

The sources said Iranian military tactics taught to Hamas in 2008 were ineffective against Israel. They said the Hamas tactics were based on doctrine adopted by the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah, located in the mountainous areas of southern Lebanon. The Gaza Strip is a flat area that is much smaller than Lebanon.

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Over the last few months, Hamas has maintained contact with several potential sources of military assistance. The sources identified them as Algeria, Morocco, Sudan and Turkey.

The sources said Sudan would provide most of the training for Hamas while serving as a key supplier of weapons. They said Turkey, under the auspices of the ruling Justice and Development Party, has also been quietly training Hamas personnel in security tactics.

“Hamas got 20 academic scholarships for internal security training from Turkey to fight Fatah,” a Hamas military source said.

A Hamas military investigation determined numerous flaws in combat doctrine during the 22-day war with Hamas. The sources said 3,000 Hamas officers were investigated and 50 field commanders were dismissed.

The investigation recommended that Hamas acquire proven combat systems from foreign suppliers rather than seek to produce indigenous weapons, such as the Qassam-class, short-range rocket.

The probe also urged Hamas to focus on the procurement of Russian-origin rather than on U.S. air defense systems, such as the Stinger.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.