Hamas announced on Friday that it has formed a “popular army” that is ready for future hostilities with Israel, especially when it comes to the Temple Mount compound.

A spokesman for Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, told the crowd at a ceremony in the Jabaliya refugee camp that “the first section of the popular army for the liberation of Al-Aqsa and of Palestine” would comprise some 2,500 troops, AFP reported.

Hamas official Mohammed Abu Askar said at the ceremony that anyone over 20 could sign up and be ready “for any confrontation” with Israel. The new force has been formed, “at a moment when the Al-Aqsa mosque is subject to serious Israeli violations,” he said. […]