Hamas yesterday condemned Israel's formation of a military unit for Jewish volunteers in the Arab city of Lod to fight Arab citizens, Al Watan Voice reported.
Speaking to Al Watan Voice, Hamas Spokesman Hazem Qasem said: "The formation of a Jewish terrorist armed group in Lod which answers to extremist Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir is a dangerous development."
He added: "This proves that the fascist Israeli government is preparing to escalate its aggression on the Palestinians [in Israel]. This racist and fascist behaviour is the core component of the current Israeli government."
This came following a report by Israel's Kan public broadcaster about the formation of a unit comprised of several dozen civilians with military experience who would serve as a special alert squad.
According to Kan, this might be the first of several to be set-up in cities with a large number of Arab residents.
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"I thank the prime minister for accepting my request for the establishment of a national guard and the addition of thousands of police officers," Ben-Gvir tweeted on Monday.
The Israeli cabinet approved the 2023-2024 state budget last month. It included nine billion shekels ($2.5 billion) for the National Security Ministry – with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explaining that "together with Minister Ben-Gvir…we are establishing a national guard."