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Here’s how Hamas militants get their weapons
The Hamas-ruled enclave of Gaza is a poor, densely populated area, with few resources.
The coastal enclave has been almost completely cut off from the rest of the world for nearly 17 years, when Hamas seized control, prompting Israel and Egypt to impose a strict siege on the territory, which is ongoing.
Israel also maintains an air and naval blockade on Gaza as well as a vast array of surveillance.
Which begs the question: How did Hamas amass the sheer amount of weaponry that enabled the group to pull off coordinated attacks that killed more than 1,200 people in Israel and injured thousands more — while continuing to rain rocket fire down on Israel?
The answer, according to experts, is through a combination of guile, improvisation, tenacity and an important overseas benefactor.
Iran factor: “Hamas acquires its weapons through smuggling or local construction and receives some military support from Iran,” the CIA’s World Factbook says.
While the Israeli and US governments have yet to find any direct role by Iran in last weekend’s raids, experts say the Islamic Republic has long been Hamas’ main military supporter, smuggling weapons into the enclave through clandestine cross-border tunnels or boats that have escaped the Mediterranean blockade.
Recycling munitions: Gaza has none of the heavy industry that would support weapons production in most of the world. But among its main exports are scrap iron, which can provide material to make weapons in the tunnel network below the enclave.
When Gaza infrastructure has been destroyed in Israeli airstrikes, what’s left — sheet metal and metal pipes, rebar, electrical wiring — has found its way into Hamas’ weapon workshops, emerging as rocket tubes or other explosive devices, according to Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Fikra Forum in 2021.
Recycling unexploded Israel munitions for their explosive material and other parts adds to Hamas’ supply chain, Alkhatib wrote. “The IDF’s operation indirectly provided Hamas with materials that are otherwise strictly monitored or forbidden altogether in Gaza,” he wrote...CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>