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How Hamas Gets Weapons In Gaza And The Taliban Connection; Israel-Gaza War; Gaza Airstrikes; Gaza

Explained: How Hamas Gets Weapons In Gaza And The Taliban Connection

The movement of people in Gaza is tightly controlled by Egypt and Israel.

Israel has ordered a full siege of the Gaza Strip and vowed to obliterate Hamas after its all-out offensive entered the next phase. Palestinian group Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, a narrow strip of land, where approximately 2.3 million people live in an area almost 1/4th the size of Delhi

Despite a complete withdrawal in 2005, Israel controls the maritime, air and land borders in the Gaza Strip to keep strict on weapons supply to Hamas in the region. The movement of people in Gaza is tightly controlled by Egypt and Israel with only two border crossings in a 365 sq km area of land.

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How Hamas Gets Weapons In Gaza?

As seen in the map, the Gaza Strip is surrounded by Israel from two sides and shares a border with Egypt. The Western end faces the Mediterranean Sea, where the Israeli Navy restricts the movement of people only up to 12 nautical miles.

Arms smugglers drop weapons on the shore along the Mediterranean Sea, these weapons are then supplied to Hamas. Despite maritime control by the Israeli Navy, the arms suppliers succeeded in supplying weapons to the group. 

The arms smugglers use tunnels as an alternative route to supply weapons. 

Gaza shares a border with Egypt and tunnels are built to deliver weapons to the region. The tunnel network is used to send weapons such as Fajr-3, Fajr-5, and M-302 rockets from Iran and Syria.

The Fajr-3 is an Iranian-built unguided surface-to-surface artillery rocket. The Fajr-3 has a range of 43 km and is found in Hezbollah’s stockpile – A group that has close ties with Iran and Syria. The Fajr-5 has an extended range of 75 km, with a 90 kg high explosive (HE).

Meanwhile, the M-302 rocket or Khaibar-1 is also built by Iran and is a long-range unguided rocket used by Hamas, and reportedly supplied by Hezbollah.

In the first wave of attacks on Israel, over 5,000 rockets were fired from Gaza. Over the years, Hamas has developed its crude rocket technology to extend its range and weapons reportedly supplied by Iran, were used to overwhelm Israel’s nearly impenetrable Iron Dome air defence system.

Iran has backed Hamas’ Operation Al-Aqsa Flood but has denied any direct involvement in the war and has rejected Israel’s claims that they are funding the operation.

The US State Department in 2021, said Hamas receives training, funding and weapons from Iran. As per reports, 70 per cent of total funding to Hamas is received from Iran.

The Taliban Connection

Several reports suggest US-built weapons are being used by Hamas that are supplied from Afghanistan by the Taliban. In 2021, the US ended its operations in Afghanistan and left a stockpile of weapons that were taken by the Taliban after it took control of the country. 

US Carrier Battle Group In The Mediterranean

The US has ordered the movement of warships and aircraft closer to Israel, a move in a show of support for its ally. A Carrier Battle Group led by USS Gerald R Ford and its accompanying warships are moving toward the eastern Mediterranean. 

Reports suggest the US carrier strike group will help Israel defend the seashore along Gaza to stop the supply of weapons. 

The United States, a major supplier of arms to Israel, has moved quickly to affirm its backing for Israel after Saturday’s surprise attack from the Gaza Strip, vowing “rock solid” support and warning other parties to stay out of the conflict.

The group, led by USS Gerald R Ford, includes a guided missile cruiser and four guided missile destroyers, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin said. 

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