Hamas and North Korea have negotiated a secret arms deal that had the Palestinian terrorist group paying North Korea “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for missiles and communications equipment, the British newspaper the Telegraph reports.
Quoting Western security sources, the Telegraph wrote of the new arms deal:
Security officials say the deal between Hamas and North Korea is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and is being handled by a Lebanese-based trading company with close ties to the militant Palestinian organization based in east Beirut.
Hamas officials are believed to have already made an initial cash down payment to secure the deal, and are now hoping that North Korea will soon begin shipping extra supplies of weapons to Gaza.
“Hamas is looking for ways to replenish its stocks of missiles because of the large numbers it has fired at Israel in recent weeks,” explained a security official. “North Korea is an obvious place to seek supplies because Pyongyang already has close ties with a number of militant Islamist groups in the Middle East.”
According to Israel Defense Forces numbers, Hamas has launched more than 2,450 rockets at Israel in the past 20 days. Israeli media have quoted defense officials’ assessments that before the current escalation began, Hamas had an estimated 10,000 rockets at its disposal.
In this file photo taken July 11, 2014, Israeli explosives experts carry the remnants of a long-range rocket fired by Palestinians militants from Gaza after being shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system and hit a synagogue in Tel Aviv, Israel. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)
The Telegraph reported that Hamas is now seeking North Korea’s help in replenishing its stock.
Even if the deal proceeds, getting the rockets into Gaza could prove challenging, with a blockade on Gaza in place by both the Israeli and Egyptian armed forces who are constantly on the lookout for smuggling efforts. Just last week, a Sudanese paper reported that Israeli jets had struck a Hamas weapons warehouse in Sudan.
It’s unlikely Israel will agree to loosening its sea blockade on Gaza without guarantees that the terrorist group won’t use it to bring more weapons into the seaside strip.
The Telegraph also reported on an Israeli assessment that North Korean experts have advised Hamas on how to build its sophisticated network of tunnels under Gaza and Israel, thirty of which have been uncovered in the past week by the IDF.
“The North Koreans have one of the world’s most sophisticated network of tunnels running beneath the demilitarized zone with South Korea, and Israeli commanders believe Hamas has used this expertise to improve their own tunnel network,” the Telegraph reported.
Read the full story at the Telegraph at this link.