Hamas Uses North Korea's Weapons
Revelation Increases South Korea's Concern
Experts, quoted by Radio Free Asia, explained that Hamas terrorist fighters may be using North Korean munitions after footage surfaced of a fighter from the Palestinian group carrying a rocket- launcher suspected to appear from the communist nation.
The videotape, recorded shortly after deadly attacks on Israel started last weekend and participated extensively on social media, shows several men sitting in the reverse of a volley truck brandishing munitions above a face- down, completely unclothed woman.
A rocket- launcher held by one of the fighters was linked as North Korean in origin by a service and munitions blogger with the handle War Noir in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“ A recent videotape recorded moment shows members of the Al- Qassam Armies(#HAMAS) in#Gaza Strip, ” War Noir wrote onOct. 7. “ One of the members can be seen with an uncommon F- 7 HE- Frag rocket, firstly produced in#NorthKorea(#DPRK). ”
RFA wasn't able o conclusively determine if the armament was North Korean, but its shape nearly resembles the F- 7 as depicted in the North Korean Small Arms and Light Munitions Recognition Guide published in May by the Geneva- grounded Small Arms Survey exploration design.
History of NK Weapons in the Region
Experts on the regional context said that Palestinians have historically used North Korean munitions, which may have been first bought by Iran or Syria, and also smuggled to the Hamas- ruled Gaza Strip, circumventing an Israeli- Egyptian leaguer that has been in place since 2007.
“ The Syrians deal with Hezbollah a lot and Hezbollah deals with Hamas a lot, ” said BruceE. Bechtol Jr., a former intelligence officer for theU.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
“ A lot of the trade that North Korea does with both Hamas and Hezbollah is deals that they make through the IRGC, the Iranian Republican Guard Corps, ” he said.
Munitions Use in the Region
In its recent attacks on Israelis, Hamas used munitions forming in a wide range of current and former countries, including the United States, the Soviet Union, and North Korea, saidN.R. Jenzen- Jones, director of the Armament Research Services intelligence consultancy, or ARES.
A primary analysis of images reviewed by this consultancy shows “ a militant fortified with an RPG- 7 type shoulder- fired recoilless gun, loaded with an F- 7 series high explosive fragmentation( HE- FRAG) munition, produced in North Korea, ” Jenzen- Jones said. “ These have preliminarily been proved in the region, including in Syria, Iraq, and in the Gaza Strip."
Other images showed zealots using what appeared to be a North Korean Type 58 tone- lading rifle, a outgrowth of the well- known AK series, he said.
" North Korean arms have preliminarily been proved amongst interdicted inventories handed by Iran to militant groups, and this is believed to be the primary way in which DPRK munitions have come into the possession of Palestinian zealots, ” he said.
“ North Korean arms have preliminarily been linked in the hands of the militant coalitions of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Popular Front for the Emancipation of Palestine, amongst other groups, ” he added.
Bechtol said that a North Korean arms payload was interdicted in Thailand in 2009. AU.N. panel of experts determined the 35 tons of conventional arms and munitions was headed to Iran, and Israeli intelligence believed it was eventually bound for Hamas and Lebanon- grounded Hezbollah.
Bechtol said the payload contained rocket propelled grenades, larger rockets, and the F- 7.
“The North Koreans have also sold the 'BULSAE' antitank system to Hamas. It's a very good antitank system and they could be firing that at Israeli tanks when they're entering the Gaza Strip here within the next day or two,” said Bechtol, as he was quoted by Radio Free Asia.
“ So North Korea has given them some capabilities that are intriguing. ”
The woman whose body was seen in the videotape was linked by her family as 22- time old German- Israeli citizen Shani Louk, who was kidnapped by Hamas zealots when they attacked a music jubilee in Israel close to the Gaza border.
She's believed to be alive, but in critical condition at a sanitarium in Gaza, according to Palestinian sources her mama told German outlet Bild on Tuesday.
But Israeli, German or Palestinian officers haven't yet verified her status or whereabouts.
North Korea Pins Blame on Israel
North Korean media, meanwhile, criticized the recent violence on Israel’s “ ceaseless felonious acts ” against the Palestinian people.
According to a report in the state- run Rodong Sinmun review on Tuesday, “ a large- scale fortified conflict broke out between Palestine’s Islamic resistance movement and Israel. ”
“ The transnational community called the conflict the result of Israel’s ceaseless felonious acts against the Palestinian people, ” and said that the “ abecedarian ” way to end the bloody conflict is to produce an independent Palestinian state.
That Hamas is using North Korean munitions isn't surprising, Bruce Bennett, a defense experimenter at the RAND Corporation suppose tank, told RFA.
“North Korea is selling things wherever it can to make hard currency,” said Bennett. “Whether North Korea directly provided it to Hamas or provided it through a third party, I don't know. But the fact that there is North Korean equipment there does not surprise me at all.”
Context of North Korea's Arms Sales
Bennett said the F- 7 rocket is an anti-personnel armament and causes maximum casualties.
“It's not intended to, like, penetrate a tank,” he said. “It's intended to cause fragmentation, like a terrorist bomb, and maximize the effect against people.”
Indeed though Hamas appears to be using North Korean munitions, it would be inaccurate to describe them as direct abettors of the conflict, Bennet explained.
“It's a commercial relationship which is fed by the politics as well by North Korea being anxious to hurt the United States and anything associated with the United States,” said Bennett.
"The scary part of this though is as you think about the future, does North Korea have people on the ground with Hamas watching them do what they're doing?” he said.
“ Is North Korea allowing about doing this kind of thing to South Korea? We easily do not know at this stage, but I do not suppose we can ignore that possibility. ”
e scary part of this though is as you think about the future, does North Korea have people on the ground with Hamas watching them do what they're doing?” he said.