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May 26, 2024

Israel Uncovers Hamas Weapons Capabilities Aided by Iran

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Jan 9, 2024

Israel’s military has uncovered evidence that the militant group Hamas is developing advanced weapons capabilities with guidance from Iran, posing a growing threat.

IDF Raids Uncover Sophisticated Hamas Missile Production

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted raids across Gaza over the past week, uncovering caches of long-range rockets and tunnels used by Hamas to produce weapons. One key discovery was a facility Israeli officials described as able to produce hundreds of rockets a month with machinery to improve accuracy.

IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht stated “We uncovered machinery designed specifically to increase the range and precision of Hamas’ rocket arsenal.” Photos show lathes and mills suitable for producing rocket motors and precision parts. The location, size, and equipment suggest a significant investment in manufacturing capabilities.

Table: Key Hamas weapons production sites uncovered

Site Location Equipment/purpose
Underground tunnel complex Northern Gaza Manufacturing machinery, storage
Residential building Gaza City Assembly and storage facility
Bunker under home Central Gaza Long-range rocket cache

Officials claim documents recovered tie development of guided rocket technology directly to Iranian assistance. A set of Farsi-language schematics detail the fabrication of control surfaces to improve rocket accuracy. Other records outline a structured training program conducted by Iranian engineers.

“It’s clear that Hamas has undergone a qualitative leap in its capabilities,” Hecht said. “They are transforming primitive rockets into precision-guided missiles, with the help of Iran.”

Hamas Cruise Missile Program Revealed

Among the most concerning discoveries outlined by the IDF was evidence Hamas has begun development of an indigenous cruise missile program. Documents suggest the militant group has built and tested a pilotless drone aircraft as the basis for an eventual weaponized system.

While crude compared to the types of cruise missiles fielded by advanced militaries, the 3-meter wingspan Hamas prototype could threaten Israeli critical infrastructure if armed with a small warhead. Iran has an extensive cruise missile program, and likely provided technical data to accelerate Hamas’ own development.

“The know-how came from Iran,” Hecht said at a press briefing. “We have documented exchanges where Iranian weapons experts provided detailed schematics and training to Hamas engineers.”

The IDF is concerned Hamas may attempt to launch a combat test of an armed system within months. Officials have asked regional partners to help restrict the supply of key components that could improve Hamas’ ability to field cruise missile technology.

Escalating Tensions with Iran

The revelations come amid escalating tensions between Israel and Iran. Israeli officials blame Iran for supporting Hamas with technical expertise and funding to expand the group’s arsonal. In turn, Iran accuses Israel of conducing an assassination campaign targeting its nuclear scientists and sabotage against facilities.

After initial denials, Hamas leadership praised the discovered weapons development effort. Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum stated “Our engineers have taken the technical knowledge of many partners to build the means to defend ourselves from Israeli aggression.” He pointedly did not confirm direct Iranian involvement.

Experts see the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas as part of a shadow war for influence and leverage between Iran and Israel throughout the region. Both nations are highly militarized, with advanced capabilities they stopping short of direct confrontation. Instead, they engage in strikes via proxy groups and covert operations. The high stakes chess match now plays out in Gaza, as Hamas expands its strategic capabilities with Iranian assistance.

Each round of violence threatens to unleash broader conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened direct strikes on Iran should its nuclear program near weaponization. For now, experts hope tempers cool before the situation can cascade out of control. But with passions inflamed on all sides, few see an easy path to deescalation.

International Community Calls for Restraint

The revelations brought international calls for all sides to pull back from violence.

Egypt helped broker the original cease-fire ending last May’s fighting. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi warned regional tensions risk “turning into a volcano that will consume us all.” He pledged to continue negotiations focused on preventing Hamas from importing weapons components.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has attempted to thread the needle – affirming support for Israel’s security while criticizing settlement expansion in the West Bank and calling for proportional use of force against Hamas.

Meeting with Netanyahu, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “We understand your need to defend the Israeli people from terrorism. At the same time, we encourage all steps to prevent civilian casualties and bring back calm.”

Reaction from Arab states has varied. Nations like Saudi Arabia and UAE blamed Hamas aggression and affirmed Israel’s right to self-defense. Meanwhile, Qatar has provided funding for Gaza reconstruction while calling for Israel to lift border restrictions.

With peace elusive, the winds of war gusted again this week in Gaza. The IDF and Hamas exchanged rocket fire along the volatile border region. As simmering tensions threaten to boil over, the world watches and waits – hoping cooler heads will prevail before the next conflict erupts.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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