IDF helicopter (archives)
Photo: AP
Hamas says fired at Israeli chopper
Gunmen fire at helicopter flying near movement's naval base at Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, source in Palestinian group's special security force tells Ynet
Hamas gunmen opened fire at an IDF helicopter in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, Palestinian sources reported. The army said in response it was unaware of any unusual incident in the area.


A source at Hamas' special security force told Ynet that members of the organization's naval force fired at an Israeli aircraft flying over a naval base in the central Strip, near Nuseirat refugee camp.


At first the Palestinians reported that the IDF struck the naval force's post, but it was later discovered that the Hamas gunmen had fired at the helicopter.


The Palestinians reported that the force commanders instructed their men to search the area, as the aircraft may have been damaged.


About three weeks ago, the Hamas government's interior ministry in Gaza confirmed Ynet's recent report that the Palestinian organization's special security force had completed the establishment of a new naval defense force, which would serve as a "navy" for the Hamas army in the Strip.


According to the announcement, the naval police force would be responsible for providing security on Gaza's shores. According to the Hamas government, the new naval arm is comprised of 150 fighters.


The naval force's goal, according to the announcement, is to provide security to the Strip's shores, prevent drug smuggling attempts, supervise fishermen and guarantee their personal safety and the safety of their property.


"The force will safeguard the tourist sites and the wellbeing and safety of their visitors," the announcement added.


In response to the report, a military source said that "the new situation in the Gaza Strip obligates us to act differently at sea. There are threats that did not exist in the past. We recognize this, and are ready."


First published: 02.09.07, 11:13
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