‘Unexpected’ – NYT Reveals Source of Hamas Weapons

Qassam fighters prepare the Rajoum system in Gaza. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

A significant number of weapons used by the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas may come from the Israeli army itself, according to a report published on Sunday by the New York Times. 

According to the report, intelligence gathered by weapons experts, Israeli and Western officials has revealed that “Hamas has been able to build many of its rockets and anti-tank weaponry out of the thousands of munitions that failed to detonate when Israel lobbed them into Gaza”.

“What is clear now is that the very weapons that Israeli forces have used to enforce a blockade of Gaza over the past 17 years are now being used against them,” the report said.

The New York Times cited Michael Cardash, the former deputy head of the Israeli National Police Bomb Disposal Division and an Israeli police consultant, as saying that “unexploded ordnance is a main source of explosives for Hamas”. 

Moreover, “Israeli authorities also knew that their armories were vulnerable to theft.” 

According to the New York Times, thousands of ammunition and grenades were “stolen from poorly guarded bases” and sent to the West Bank and Gaza “by way of Sinai”.

Getting Creative

The siege imposed by Israeli authorities on Gaza in 2007 “forced Hamas to get creative,” according to the report.

Therefore, “its manufacturing abilities are now sophisticated enough to saw into the warheads of bombs weighing up to 2,000 pounds, to harvest the explosives and to repurpose them”.

The New York Times states that after the Israeli war of 2014, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, “established engineering teams to collect unexploded munitions like howitzer rounds and American-made MK-84 bombs.”

Additionally, in 2019, Al-Qassam Brigades reportedly “discovered hundreds of munitions on two World War I-era British military vessels that had sunk off the coast of Gaza a century earlier.” 

According to Middle East policy analyst Ahmed Fouad Alhatib, “the most essential way for Hamas to obtain weaponry is through domestic manufacture”.

Israel has reportedly carried out over 22,000 strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 26,422 Palestinians have been killed, and 65,087 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. 

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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