How Hamas Gets its Weapons
Hassan Illeik, al-Akhbar, Nov 19 2012
As the conflict enters its sixth day, Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard units specialized in smuggling weapons from Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Sudan, and other countries into the Gaza Strip are on high alert. These weapons usually begin their journey in Iranian or Syrian ports. From there, they head to Sudan, where they are transported to the Sinai in Egypt and end up in Gaza. But such units have other routes they can use to reach Gaza. Sources say the communication lines between the Resistance in Lebanon and various groups in Gaza, especially Hamas, remain open and active. Resistance factions are currently assessing the damage inflicted on the long-range missile arsenals Israel claims to have destroyed in the raids following the assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmad al-Jaabari. But it seems that the Palestinian resistance learned its lessons from the 2008 aggression against Gaza and the 2006 war on Lebanon, since a large number of ‘strategic’ arsenals are still safe. Hezbollah sources told al-Akhbar that the focus is now on transporting large quantities of long-range missiles, considerable numbers of which have already reached the Strip since the beginning of the Israeli assault.Recently, arms supplies to the Strip suffered a major setback following the ‘neutralization’ of Syria, which had become the major conduit for arming resistance factions after the second Intifada. Yet Iran and Hezbollah have managed to keep supply lines open, despite this complication. The strategies for smuggling arms to occupied Palestine have evolved over time. The most notable development came in the 1990s, when Hezbollah decided to create a special unit for the operation. At the time, weapons could only reach Gaza sporadically and in small amounts, due to the tightening of security in Jordan and Egypt. Even getting a light caliber mortar shell into the Strip was considered an achievement. Hezbollah was able to increase the flow of weapons, but the Israeli military soon caught on to the new smuggling patterns, and succeeded in assassinating many of those involved, including Ali Dib aka Abu-Hassan Salameh, Ahmad Jibril aka Abu-Jihad, Ali Saleh, Ghaleb Awali, and Mohammad Suleiman, a Syrian army general, among others. Hamas members were also targeted inside Syria, which was home to Hamas headquarters before the Palesti. Since 2005, the weapons transfer units have succeeded in sending numerous types of light and medium weapons, mortars, medium and long-range missiles, as well as several types of ammunition and materials that can be used to manufacture rockets and bombs. They also worked on transferring hundreds of fighters from Gaza to Syria and Iran, where they were trained on military tactics and the use of special equipment such as anti-armor and anti-aircraft weaponry.nian faction came out against the Syrian government’s violent reaction to the uprising there.
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