Sunday Times Reports Israeli Spy Satellite Detects Iranian Long Range Rocket Shipment to Gaza

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted incoming rockets fired from Gaza (photo credit: IDF)

Showing just how fragile the Israel-Hamas ceasefire declared Wednesday is, a new report says Iran was already preparing a new shipment of long-range rockets for terrorist groups in Gaza even while the ceasefire was being finalized.

Britain’s Sunday Times reports Israeli spy satellites last week detected a cargo ship being loaded with rockets and other weapons at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Israeli intelligence officials believe those weapons are headed for Gaza.

Ynet provides further detail on the route Iranian secret shipments take via Sudan and Egypt:

Israeli intelligence sources believe the weapons-laden cargo ship will pass through the well established Iranian weapons smuggling route to Gaza, through Sudan and the Red Sea. Sources told the British newspaper that they believe Iranian ships stationed in Eritrea will escort the ship from the moment it enters the Red Sea. “Regardless of the ceasefire agreement, we will attack and destroy any shipment of arms to Gaza once we have spotted it,” an Israeli defense source said.

It appears that the ship’s cargo includes Fajr-5 missiles, which terrorist groups have already fired at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during Operation Pillar of Defense, and possibly Shahab-3 missiles, which can hit deep in Israeli territory.

Adding another layer to the threat facing Israel, the report suggests those Shahab-3 missiles wouldn’t even need to make it all the way to Gaza and could be fired at Israel from Sudan.

Intelligence officials believe the Fajr-5 missiles are broken apart for shipment, whisked through smuggling tunnels into Gaza and then reassembled by terror groups on the ground.

Last month, a weapons factory in Sudan was destroyed in a bombing Sudanese officials blamed on the Israeli Air Force. Some reports suggested the factory was being used to build Iranian long-range missiles. The Israeli Defense Ministry’s Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs Amos Gilad then said Sudan is a key transit point for shipment of arms to Gaza terrorists.

On Sunday, a Sudanese official said the arms factory that was bombed will be relocated away from residential areas, according to the Associated Press.

As TheBlaze posted Saturday, whereas in the past it was more secretive, Hamas is now openly boasting about the support it receives from Iran. Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said Saturday he believes Tehran will increase military support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad. If the Sunday Times report is accurate, it appears that is already happening.