During its ongoing war with Israel, Hamas has been using a patchwork of weapons produced all around the world, including Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea, according to an analysis by the Associated Press (AP) published on Jan. 15.
Despite speculations about links between Moscow and the Palestinian militant group, the AP said it is unclear whether this weaponry comes directly from governments or the black market.
Much of this equipment has been smuggled in through the 17-year-old blockade aimed at stopping such a buildup, the AP said after analyzing 150 photos and videos taken in three months of the war.
The identified armaments that Hamas uses against the Israeli military in Gaza include AK-47 assault rifles from China and Russia, North Korean and Bulgarian rocket-propelled grenades, and Iranian sniper rifles.
Palestinian militants also use variants of Russian-designed 9M32 Strela anti-aircraft missile systems, adapted and copied by other producers.
An unnamed official told the AP that most of the smuggled weapons are suspected of being brought in from Egypt. The official also said these arms are relatively easy to obtain and do not need to be provided by their country of origin.
The Gaza Strip itself has also reportedly its own sizeable defense industry, adept at producing makeshift weaponry, according to the source.
Hamas appears to have obtained or copied Iranian-designed kamikaze drones, the AP wrote. Russia is widely using such drones based on Iran's Shahed design in strikes against Ukrainian cities and agriculture.
Tehran is considered to be a major backer of Hamas but also the source of extensive military supplies for Russia amid its all-out war against Ukraine.