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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hamas negotiating 'secret' arms deal with North Korea, US to provide funding?

Hamas is in the process of negotiating an arms deal with North Korea which will provide lots of cupcakes for Kim Jong-Um (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
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 organisation 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.”
Using intermediaries based in Lebanon, Hamas officials are said to be intensifying their efforts to sign a new agreement with Pyongyang to provide hundreds of missiles together with communications equipment that will improve the ability of Hamas fighters to coordinate operations against Israeli forces. 
...
Israeli military commanders supervising operations against Gaza believe North Korean experts have given Hamas advice on building the extensive network of tunnels in Gaza that has enabled fighters to move weapons without detection by Israeli drones, which maintain a constant monitoring operation over Gaza.
The North Koreans have one of the world’s most sophisticated network of tunnels running beneath the demilitarised zone with South Korea, and Israeli commanders believe Hamas has used this expertise to improve their own tunnel network.
The Hamas arsenal has become increasing sophisticated with foreign assistance and now boasts five variants of rockets and missiles. Its basic weapon is the Iranian-designed Qassam rocket with a range of less than ten miles but it also has a large stockpile of the 122mm Katyushas which boast a range of up to 30 miles.
The introduction of the M-75 and Syrian-made M0302 missiles means Hamas boast offensive weapons with a longer range of up to 100 miles and a much greater explosive impact.
In other news, US Secretary of State John FN Kerry announced on Monday that the United States will provide $47 million in aid to Hamas to rebuild the Gaza Strip its rocket and tunneling supplies.

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