Hamas fighters attacked the Israeli settlements armed with North Korean F-7 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, the news agency said, citing South Korean officials, two experts on North Korean arms, and its own analysis of weapons captured by Israeli forces.
North Korean weaponry can also be seen in footage published by Hamas itself, the AP reported, citing arms expert Matt Schroeder.
Shoulder-fired F-7 is a popular weapon with guerrilla forces when fighting armored vehicles, and its use has been documented in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza.
It resembles the more widely used Soviet-made RPG-7 launcher but is distinguishable by a red stripe on its warhead. This feature can be seen both on Hamas' arms captured by Israelis and in the militant group's own footage, the AP noted.
"North Korea has long supported Palestinian militant groups, and North Korean arms have previously been documented amongst interdicted supplies," N.R. Jenzen-Jones, the director of the Armament Research Services consultancy, told the AP.
Pyongyang has recently also supplied arms to bolster Moscow's war against Ukraine. U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Oct. 13 that North Korea had delivered more than a thousand containers of weapons and ammunition to Russia.
Ukraine's military intelligence Kyrylo Budanov noted that Hamas' advanced drone tactics, similar to those used by Russian forces in Ukraine, indicate that Moscow may have been involved in the training of Palestinian fighters.