Israel says Hamas has better weapons

July 25, 2011 at 8:49 AM
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JERUSALEM, July 25 (UPI) -- Israeli officials say Hamas has acquired better rockets, explosive devices and some types of missiles, possibly including anti-aircraft missiles.

Haaretz reported Hamas has acquired the military supplies and weapons as a result of the so-called Arab Spring -- the series of protests and demonstrations that started in December and resulted in political change in the Middle East, including the overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

Haaretz said Hamas acquired the better high-trajectory rockets, ready-made explosive devices, anti-tank and possibly anti-aircraft missiles through a variety of channels.

Much of the weapons smuggling into Gaza has been coordinated by Iran, Haaretz said. The civil war in Libya also opened opportunities for weapons smugglers, as government forces lost control of vast weapons stores in the eastern part of the country to rebels.

Anarchy in the Sinai has exacerbated the arms smuggling situation, former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter told Haaretz.

"The Sinai went from being an area through which they smuggle weapons to an area through which they simply transfer weapons," Dichter said. "No Egyptian security official dares to confront the Bedouin anymore."

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