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AP: Hamas uses arms made in Russia, Iran, China, North Korea

by Martin Fornusek January 15, 2024 10:35 PM 2 min read
Military vehicles are seen after Palestinian militants launched more rockets at Israeli border towns on the second day of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Oct. 8, 2023. Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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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.

Is Russia involved in Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel?
Palestinian terrorist group Hamas shocked the world on Oct. 7 by launching an unprecedented deadly offensive against Israel, brutally killing over 1,000 people and taking at least 150 Israelis hostage. As Iran-backed terrorists rampaged through Israeli cities, some – including many in Ukraine – poi…
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