Hamas and North Korea in secret arms deal

Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, parade in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip Photo: AFP/GETTY

Hamas militants are attempting to negotiate a new arms deal with North Korea for missiles and communications equipment that will allow them to maintain their offensive against Israel, according to Western security sources.

Security officials say the deal between Hamas and North Korea is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and is being handled by a Lebanese-based trading company with close ties to the militant Palestinian organisation based in east Beirut.

Hamas officials are believed to have already made an initial cash down payment to secure the deal, and are now hoping that North Korea will soon begin shipping extra supplies of weapons to Gaza.

“Hamas is looking for ways to replenish its stocks of missiles because of the large numbers it has fired at Israel in recent weeks,” explained a security official. “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.”

Using intermediaries based in Lebanon, Hamas officials are said to be intensifying their efforts to sign a new agreement with Pyongyang to provide hundreds of missiles together with communications equipment that will improve the ability of Hamas fighters to coordinate operations against Israeli forces…

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