Hamas militants are negotiating an arms deal with North Korea, looking to replenish and boost their supplies of weapons and communications equipment, the Telegraph reports.
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“Hamas is looking for ways to replenish stocks of missiles because of the large numbers it has fired as Israel in recent weeks, ” a security official told the Telegraph. “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.”
Apparently, Hamas is using go-betweens in Lebanon to broker a 6 figure deal with the North Koreans.
In 2009, United Arab Emirates inspectors seized a freighter carrying North Korean arms bound for Iran, which intelligence sources concluded had been sold to Hezbollah and Hamas, according to the Guardian.
The ship, the Bahamian-flagged ANL Australia, was carrying containers of military hardware and explosives to arm thousands of rockets. Three similar vessels were caught that year, laden with North Korean or Chinese-made weapons going to Iran.
“We are proud to defend Hamas and Hezbollah, ” Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani told reporters then, according to the Washington Post. “We are not trying to hide it.”
The Telegraph report Saturday suggests Hamas has stockpiled of more than 10, 000 rockets and mortars over the past two years, capable of reaching Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and as far as Haifa.