Archive for the ‘Gaza Conflict’ Category

Gaza Conflict – 4 Aug 14

Posted: August 4, 2014 in Gaza Conflict

Israel’s doctrine of proportionality in Gaza
Dore Gold
LA Times | July 31, 2014

Reporting from Jerusalem

The images of destruction after the battle between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas that began July 20 in the Shajaiya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip have caused many to declare, in a now-frequent refrain, that the IDF is behaving “disproportionately.” Some commentators are simply dressing up in sophisticated language their belief that Israel is using excessive force, but others clearly mean to accuse Israel of violating the laws of war — specifically, of violating the doctrine of proportionality. These accusations have no merit.

Shajaiya was not just another neighborhood in Gaza, but rather a crown jewel of Hamas’ effort to intertwine civilians and terrorists to complicate Israel’s ability to defend itself. Shajaiya was crisscrossed with an elaborate network of underground bunkers and tunnels containing equipment for the manufacture of rockets, storage facilities for rockets and other weapons, and launching sites from which the rockets were fired at Israeli towns. It was a civilian area where Hamas embedded its most important military capabilities, precisely to encourage condemnation of Israel should the IDF be forced to fight there.

Moreover, multiple attack tunnels whose exit points are in Israel had entrance points in Shajaiya. These tunnels allow Hamas to cross under the border fence and penetrate Israeli territory to carry out attacks on civilians. Mothers in Israeli villages near the Gaza border feared that terrorists would emerge from the tunnels, kidnap their children and drag them back as hostages to the Gaza Strip, a concern that became more terrifying when handcuffs and tranquilizers were found in the tunnel system.

Shajaiya encapsulates the challenge Israel faces in the Gaza conflict: How can Israel defend itself without being accused of violating the principle of proportionality?

Israel had three choices in how to deal with Shajaiya. First, it could have decided that it had every right to use overwhelming force to neutralize the neighborhood with air power, ignoring the question of collateral damage to civilians, much like the Allied bombing campaigns of World War II, or NATO’s three-month campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999, in which 40,000 homes were destroyed. This option was not even a consideration for the IDF.

Second, looking at how Hamas had embedded its military capabilities within civilian neighborhoods, Israel could have decided there was nothing it could do, thus allowing Hamas to strike at Israeli population centers with impunity. Such a decision would have granted Hamas a license to kill Israelis, something no Israeli government — or, indeed, any accountable democracy — could do.

Finally, there was the decision that Israel ultimately made: Separate, as much as possible, the civilian population from the Hamas fighters and arms in their midst. This required getting the Palestinian population to evacuate potential target areas by multiple means: dropping leaflets with evacuation routes, breaking into Hamas radio broadcasts with warnings about specific areas, Arabic-language telephone calls to homes and text messages to cellphones. While the notification process was underway, an Israeli drone would hover over the area that was to be cleared to ensure that residents had left.

Against this Israeli effort, Hamas employed a counter-strategy of trying to prevent civilians from heeding Israeli warnings. On July 8, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri appeared on local television and called on Gazans to serve as human shields against Israeli air attacks. Hamas enforcers sought to dissuade civilians from fleeing. And, anticipating a ground incursion into neighborhoods like Shajaiya, Hamas booby-trapped whole rows of homes, hoping to collapse them on Israeli soldiers. This only magnified the scale of the destruction.

It should be recalled that proportionality in international law has a very specific meaning: It is the calculation a military commander must make as to whether the military advantage to be gained by the use of force is greater than the probable harm that may be inflicted on the surrounding civilian population. Anyone who complains about “disproportionality” must explain exactly what the IDF should have done to neutralize the terrorist threat from Shajaiya while causing less destruction than what occurred.

War between an embattled democracy, like Israel, and a terrorist organization, like Hamas, inevitably produces certain asymmetries. Israel heavily invested in the defense of its population, including air raid shelters as well as a missile defense system, known as Iron Dome. Where did Hamas put the billions of dollars it obtained from supporters like Qatar? It built the system of attack tunnels and an arsenal of missiles. Yet there are those who wrongly infer Israeli intent to cause civilian casualties from the greater damage suffered by Hamas, which resulted from a war Hamas imposed, and from its readiness to sacrifice the lives of its people to advance its extremist goals.

Dore Gold served as Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 1997 to 1999. He is an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.


Gaza’s Civilian Casualties: The Truth Is Very Different
Richard Kemp
Gatestone Institute | August 3, 2014

With few exceptions, reporters, commentators, and analysts unquestioningly accept the casualty statistics given by Gaza’s Hamas-controlled medical authorities, who ascribe all deaths to the IDF. We have never seen so much as a glimpse of killed or wounded fighters.

Analysis of casualty details released by Qatar-based Al Jazeera indicate that so far most of those killed in Gaza have been young men of fighting age, not women, children or old people.

All Palestinian civilian casualties in this conflict result ultimately from Gaza terrorists’ aggression against Israel, and Hamas’s use of human shields — the most important plank of Hamas’s war-fighting policy.

"So are you going after innocent civilians or is it incompetence Colonel Lerner?" asks the interviewer, her face contorted with a contempt apparently reserved only for Israelis. Such shrill disrespect hurled at an American or British officer would alienate viewers, and, at an Arab commander, provoke accusations of racism.

This line of questioning – repeated across the networks on a daily basis – betrays a naïve and uncomprehending willingness to believe, and encourages viewers to believe, the absurd notion that the Israel Defence Force [IDF] is commanded and manned from top to bottom by psychopathic baby-killing thugs.

To suggest that military incompetence is the only explanation for civilian deaths other than deliberate mass murder reveals a breathtaking but unsurprising ignorance of the realities of combat.

Although rarely allowed to complete so much as a single sentence, Israeli attempts to explain IDF targeting policies are inevitably dismissed as laughable fabrication.

The truth is very different. The IDF has developed the most comprehensive and sophisticated measures to minimize civilian casualties during attacks against legitimate military targets.

Mandatory, multi-sensor intelligence and surveillance systems to confirm the presence or absence of civilians precede attacks on every target from the air. Text messages, phone calls and radio messages in Arabic warn occupants to leave. Air-dropped leaflets include maps showing safe areas. When warnings go unheeded, aircraft drop non-lethal explosives to warn that an attack is imminent.

Only when pilots and air controllers are sure that civilians are clear of the target will authorization be given to attack. When pilots use laser-guided munitions they must have pre-designated safe areas to which to divert the missiles in flight should civilians suddenly appear.


A Hamas military commander recounts on Palestinian TV how Israeli forces gave advance warning to him, to evacuate his home before bombing it. He goes on to describe how after the warning, he rushed to gather friends, family and neighbors on the roof of the building.


Two pictures showing Palestinian human shields gathered on buildings for which the Israel Air Force has given advance warning of a pending bombing.

In the last few days IDF pilots have aborted many missions because civilians remained in the target area.

Ground forces have equivalent engagement procedures, although the nature of ground combat means that these are blunter and less sophisticated. Discussions with IDF infantrymen fresh from the fight on the Gaza border confirm, however, that avoiding civilian casualties is uppermost in their minds even when under fire themselves.

Meanwhile back in the safety of the studio, the interviewer’s visible fury at the IDF Spokesman has got the better of any professional objectivity: "You go on endlessly about all the warnings you give but the fact is you have killed one-and-a-half thousand people, the overwhelming majority of them civilians!"

But of course the colonel is not permitted to give a proper answer that might help viewers understand the reality of the situation.

With few exceptions, reporters, commentators and analysts unquestioningly accept the casualty statistics given by Gaza’s Hamas-controlled medical authorities, who ascribe all deaths to the IDF. Is anyone in Gaza dying of natural causes? Mass executions of "collaborators," and civilians killed by malfunctioning Hamas rockets, are all attributed to IDF fire.

Are the "overwhelming majority" of the dead really civilians? It would seem so. We see a great deal of grotesque and heart-rending footage of dead and bleeding women and children but never so much as a glimpse of killed or wounded fighters. Nor do reporters question or comment on the complete absence of Gazan military casualties, an extraordinary phenomenon unique to this conflict. The reality of course is that Hamas make great efforts to segregate their military casualties to preserve the fiction that Israel is killing civilians only. There are also increasing indications that Hamas, through direct force or threat, are preventing journalists from filming their fighters, whether dead or alive.

We will not get to the truth until the battle is over. But we know now that Hamas have ordered their people to report all deaths as innocent civilians. We know too that Hamas has a track record of lying about casualties. After Operation Cast Lead, the 2008-09 fighting in Gaza, the IDF estimated that of 1,166 Palestinian deaths, 709 were fighters. Hamas – backed by several NGOs – claimed that only 49 of its fighters had been killed, the rest were innocent civilians. Much later they were forced to admit that the IDF had been right all along and between 600 and 700 of the casualties had in fact been fighters. But the short-memoried media are incapable of factoring this in before broadcasting their ill-founded and inflammatory assertions.

Analysis of casualty details released by Qatar-based Al Jazeera indicate that so far in the conflict most of those killed in Gaza have been young men of fighting age, not women, children or old people. According to one analyst, despite comprising around 50% of the population, the proportion of women among the dead is 21%.

Preliminary analysis by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Israel suggests that 71, or 46.7%, of the first 152 Palestinians killed were fighters and 81, or 53.3%, non-involved civilians.

None of this analysis is definitive. But it does cast doubt upon the accusations of indiscriminate attack against the population by the IDF and upon the UN estimates – widely trumpeted as fact by the media and the not-exactly unbiased United Nations – that between 70 and 80% of Palestinian casualties have been civilians.

Nevertheless, many innocent civilians have tragically been killed. How has this happened, given the IDF’s measures aimed at minimizing such deaths?

IDF commanders say they never intentionally fire at targets where uninvolved civilians are present, a policy that goes much further than the Geneva Conventions demand. This policy has been confirmed to me by foot soldiers on the ground and F16 pilots carrying out strikes into Gaza.

But mistakes happen. Surveillance and intelligence can never be foolproof. There have been reports of Hamas forcing civilians back in once buildings have been evacuated. There is sometimes unexpected fallout from attacks, for example when an adjacent building containing civilians collapses, often caused by secondary explosions resulting from Hamas’s own munitions.

Errors can be made in interpretation of imagery, passage of information and inputting of target data. We don’t yet know what happened to the four boys tragically killed on a Gaza beach; it is not credible that they were identified as children and then deliberately killed.

Weapons guidance systems sometimes malfunction and bombs, bullets or missiles can land where they are not supposed to. Even the most hi-tech communications systems can fail at the critical moment.

Nowhere are these errors more frequent and catastrophic than in ground combat, where commanders and soldiers experience chaos, noise, smoke, fear, exhaustion, danger, shock, maiming, death and destruction that are beyond the comprehension of our interviewer in her air conditioned TV studio.

These mistakes and malfunctions happen in all fighting armies and in all conflicts. And in all conflicts, mistakes include the deaths of soldiers by friendly fire. Do those who condemn the killing of Palestinian civilians as deliberate acts by the IDF suggest that the friendly fire incidents in Gaza are also intentional?

The Israeli policy of not attacking targets where civilians are present is likely however to be deliberately waived in one specific situation. If troops are under lethal fire from an enemy position, the IDF are entitled to attack the target even with the certainty that civilians will be killed, subject to the usual rules of proportionality.

By definition Israeli soldiers’ lives are placed at greater risk by restrictive rules of engagement intended to minimize civilian casualties. But commanders in the field must balance their concern for civilians with the preservation of their own men’s lives and fighting effectiveness.

These realities aside, all Palestinian civilian casualties in this conflict result ultimately from Gaza terrorists’ aggression against Israel, and Hamas’s use of human shields – the most important plank of Hamas’s war-fighting policy.

Storing and firing weapons within densely populated areas, compelling civilians to stay put when warned to leave, luring Israeli forces to attack and kill their own people, the Palestinian body count is vital to Hamas’s propaganda war that aims to bring international pressure on Israel and incite anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic hatred around the world.

This sickening exploitation of their own people’s suffering, and media’s complicity in it, is nowhere more cynically demonstrated than in the operating theaters of the Gaza Strip. Without the slightest regard for life-saving hygiene, or for the care, privacy or dignity of the wounded, Palestinian officials enthusiastically hustle camera crews in to the emergency room as desperate surgeons battle for a bleeding and broken child’s life.

Colonel Richard Kemp spent most his 30-year career in the British Army commanding front-line troops in fighting terrorism and insurgency in hotspots including Iraq, the Balkans, South Asia and Northern Ireland. He was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003. From 2002 – 2006 he heading the international terrorism team at the Joint Intelligence Committee of the British Prime Minister’s Office.


David Pollock, Jeffrey White, and Ghaith al-Omari
PolicyWatch 2294
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy | July 25, 2014

Ghaith al-Omari of the American Task Force on Palestine joins Institute fellows David Pollock and Jeffrey White to discuss the Gaza conflict.

On July 23, 2014, Jeffrey White and Ghaith al-Omari addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute, moderated by David Pollock. Pollock is the Institute’s Kaufman Fellow and editor of Fikra Forum. White is a defense fellow at the Institute and a former senior defense intelligence officer. Omari is executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine and previously served in the Palestinian Authority government. The following is a rapporteur’s summary of their remarks.


Three tentative conclusions can be drawn from the Gaza conflict thus far. First, the tunnels into Israel have become an important factor in the security situation. This could mean renegotiating the arrangements at Israel’s borders with Gaza. Second, the Israeli government will likely be prepared to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza if the security situation is improved. Third, with regard to the peace process, the Israeli government will not consider any concessions in the West Bank without further concessions in Gaza, and Egypt will have to be a key player in any future peace talks.

Concerning Israeli political calculations, the current crisis has marginalized the far right and far left, leaving the center empowered and unified around certain political and military goals. Chief among these goals is the neutralization of Hamas and other terrorist elements in Gaza.

As for Palestinian attitudes, a recent poll conducted in the West Bank highlighted the majority support within that territory for an immediate ceasefire, albeit by a small margin. This suggests that PA president Mahmoud Abbas could leverage popular sentiment in spearheading a ceasefire initiative. At the same time, two-thirds of the respondents stated that their positions were closer to those of Hamas than to Abbas’s. Rather than indicating the poll is flawed, this points to the Palestinian public’s struggle to balance conflicting values.

Moreover, a majority of respondents said that the Palestinians are winning the war at the moment — but also that they will eventually lose. This might be a result of their pride in Hamas’s military successes in Gaza, balanced with the understanding that these successes are likely short term.

In evaluating the role of external players, Palestinians have overwhelmingly negative views of the United States, the UN, the Arab League, and the Egyptian government. Concerning the different Palestinian actors, both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have made gains in popularity. Although Hamas has always been more popular in the West Bank than in Gaza, its recent surge in popularity is likely a result of sympathy for the group in the wake of recent events.

Conversely, an opinion poll conducted in Gaza before the latest hostilities showed an overwhelmingly negative opinion of Hamas and its ability to govern (see "Gaza Public Rejects Hamas, Wants Ceasefire," July 15, 2014). Respondents to that poll did not want Hamas to begin hostilities with Israel, preferring the previous ceasefire instead. And they expressed support for Fatah and its leaders rather than Hamas.


The hostilities in Gaza appear to have shifted more or less to direct-engagement fighting. Sniper fire and antitank guided missiles are being used, while Israeli airstrikes continue. Hamas has also continued to fire rockets into Israel, though these attacks seem to have slowed in recent days. Given current conditions, the parties could reach a preliminary ceasefire in the next few days.

Israel’s political objectives in this operation are to demonstrate strong will, restore quiet along the border, demilitarize Hamas and other factions in Gaza, and minimize Palestinian civilian causalities. Its military objective is to reduce Hamas’s capabilities in terms of rockets and tunnels while limiting casualties and damage inside Israel.

Hamas’s political objectives are to break the "siege," free more Palestinian prisoners, demonstrate strong military resolve, and reaffirm its credentials as the Palestinian "resistance." From a military standpoint, its objectives are to inflict damage on Israel, maintain consistent rocket fire, present a robust defense to the Israeli ground incursion, preserve its forces, and hold onto some rocket reserves.

Strategically, Israel is attempting to use air and ground power to force Hamas into accepting a ceasefire, and to significantly damage hostile military forces and infrastructure. These objectives are being carried out with sensitivity to the number of civilian causalities.

Hamas’s strategy is to demonstrate its ability to sustain rocket fire deep into Israel, reaching targets as far away as Haifa while disrupting Israeli civilian and economic life. The group also seeks to prevent a deeper Israeli ground incursion in Gaza, and to strike a blow at the Israeli military by killing troops and damaging equipment.

The conflict currently consists of three major campaigns. The first is the rocket/air war between Israeli forces and Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in conjunction with factions such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The rocket fire from Gaza continues, but Israel’s Iron Dome system has been extremely successful in intercepting these strikes. The ongoing Israeli air campaign is directed at rocket systems and other Hamas infrastructure, including the extensive tunnel system. Although the Palestinians have suffered civilian causalities, the ratio of strikes to casualties strongly suggests Israeli restraint.

The second campaign is the Israeli ground operation, in which Hamas tunnels and improvised explosive devices are of primary concern. Israeli troops and Hamas forces have also had numerous direct engagements, and Hamas has even infiltrated Israel using tunnels.

The third campaign is the media war. Israeli authorities have been careful to label all Hamas operations as terrorist acts while diligently highlighting the efficacy of Israeli military operations. For its part, Hamas has sought to paint Israel as the aggressor.

Israel has learned that neither airpower nor Iron Dome is enough to win this war, and that civilian casualties are inevitable. It has also learned that an incremental operation gives the enemy the opportunity to adjust, and that ground forces are vital for military success. Hamas has learned the importance of initiating the fight. It also recognizes Israel’s constraints regarding the civilian population in Gaza, and it is aware of the importance of the media war.

From a purely military standpoint, this conflict has highlighted three main game changers: Iron Dome, Hamas’s relative success in close combat, and the highly protected Gaza tunnel system partly stretching into Israel.


It is important to note the humanitarian aspect of this war, as a large majority of casualties have been civilians. Although Hamas has violated numerous laws and moral standards, Israel also bears responsibility for these civilian deaths. Regardless of who is responsible, a ceasefire is clearly needed — though these types of wars will continue as long as the larger conflict persists.

In Israel, the government recognized Egypt’s importance in mediating this conflict from the outset. Qatar and even Turkey attempted to adopt the Palestinian cause as a larger strategy to establish themselves in regional politics, but Egypt remains the key player.

On the Palestinian scene, Islamic Jihad has emerged as an important player, and Hamas has been forced to partner with it. At the same time, Hamas believes it is gaining strength as the war continues, civilian casualties increase, and pressure mounts on Israel. The group’s leaders have four main objectives in this fight. First, they are trying to break their political isolation, though this has failed since no major player has yet demonstrated serious interest in working with Hamas. Second, they want to empower their regional supporters, though this too has seemingly failed. Third, they want to demonstrate military success; this has not become an established narrative so far. Fourth, they continue to make demands about opening borders and releasing prisoners. More broadly, as Hamas seeks to assert its role as a real resistance, it is keen on shedding its civil responsibilities while remaining the real force in Gaza decisionmaking, similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Abbas has been empowered by the political realities of the situation, becoming the primary "address" for Egyptian and U.S. officials. He has also been able to lay the groundwork for the PA to work in Gaza. As a result, the framework of a ceasefire is emerging in which the Rafah crossing will be reopened and the closure of Gaza will be eased. Yet the prisoner issue continues to be intractable. Alongside these developments, the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal is reemerging as a convenient tool for everyone — in addition to giving Abbas a pretext for getting the PA back into Gaza, it also allows Egypt and the Arab League to bypass Hamas and engage with Abbas as the nominal head of the Palestinian polity writ large.

Finally, if a ceasefire is reached, the resumption of a real Israeli-Palestinian peace process is highly unlikely in the short term. Yet the PA should still be empowered so that the people can reconnect to the political process and stem the growing disillusionment with Palestinian politics.

This summary was prepared by Gavi Barnhard.

Clip No. 4370
MEMRI | July 9 and March 13, 2014

This video presents footage of training of the Hamas frogmen unit. Members of this unit were killed while trying to infiltrate Israel from the sea to carry out a terror attack on July 9, 2014. Also presented are excerpts from a video commemorating a member of the unit, killed on March 8 in a training accident. During the footage, members of the unit perform the "four-finger salute," a symbol showing solidarity with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Following are excerpts:

Footage shows members of the Hamas frogmen unit underwater, holding up a banner that reads "’Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, The Naval Frogmen Unit"


Footage from video posted on the Internet on March 13, commemorating Ibrahim Al-Ghoul, killed on March 8 in training accident


Ibrahim Al-Ghoul: The blessed land has called us, and we have heeded the call. The oppressed have called for our help, and we have come to their aid.

I am the son of the ‘Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the living martyr Ibrahim Muhammad Najib Muhammad Jumaa Al-Ghoul. This is my will, and I pray to Allah that I be honest in words and deeds.

History has proven that our plundering Zionist enemy understands nothing but the language of war. What was taken by force will be retrieved only by force.


Arms to Gaza

Posted: July 27, 2014 in Gaza Conflict

Hamas and North Korea in secret arms deal
Exclusive: Hamas has paid North Korea for missiles and communications equipment in arms deal worth hundreds of thousands of dollars
Con Coughlin, Defence Editor
Telegraph | 26 Jul 2014

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.

Like other Islamist terror groups in the region such as Hizbollah, Hamas has forged close links with North Korea, which is keen to support groups that are opposed to Western interests in the region.

The relationship between Hamas and North Korea first became public in 2009 when 35 tons of arms, including surface-to-surface rockets and rocket-propelled grenades, were seized after a cargo plane carrying the equipment was forced to make an emergency landing at Bangkok airport. Investigators later confirmed that the arms cache has been destined for Iran, which then planned to smuggle the weapons to Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Following Israel’s latest military offensive against Hamas operatives based in Gaza, Western security officials say Hamas is now trying to persuade North Korea to provide fresh supplies of rockets to replace the thousands of missiles that have been fired at Israel since the commencement of hostilities two weeks ago.

Israeli military commanders supervising operations against Gaza believe North Korean experts have given Hamas advice on building the extensive network of tunnels in Gaza that has enabled fighters to move weapons without detection by Israeli drones, which maintain a constant monitoring operation over Gaza.

The North Koreans have one of the world’s most sophisticated network of tunnels running beneath the demilitarised zone with South Korea, and Israeli commanders believe Hamas has used this expertise to improve their own tunnel network.

The Hamas arsenal has become increasing sophisticated with foreign assistance and now boasts five variants of rockets and missiles. Its basic weapon is the Iranian-designed Qassam rocket with a range of less than ten miles but it also has a large stockpile of the 122mm Katyushas which boast a range of up to 30 miles.

The introduction of the M-75 and Syrian-made M0302 missiles means Hamas boast offensive weapons with a longer range of up to 100 miles and a much greater explosive impact.

Since the 2012 eight-day war, Hamas has increased the size and strength of its rocket arsenal. Israeli military intelligence puts its stockpile at around 10,000 rockets and mortars, including long-range rockets capable of reaching Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the northern port city of Haifa.


Islamic Jihad Said to Have Iranian ‘Judgement Day’ Missile
Sources said that Islamic Jihad’s big ‘surprise’ was a long-range, explosive-laden Iranian-made rocket
Moshe Cohen
Arutz Sheva | 7/27/2014

Islamic Jihad has “many more surprises up its sleeve,” said Abdullah Shalah, head of the terror group said Sunday. In an interview on an Arab satellite station, Shalah said that “We have a store of strategic weapons that we have never used,” but was prepared to bring out against Israel if the war in Gaza continued. With that, he did not specify what those weapons were.

According to sources in Gaza, those weapons are Iranian-made “Zelzal” missiles, an unguided missile that can carry a payload of up to 600 kg (1,323 pounds) of explosives for a distance of up to 200 kilometers. Speaking to the Donia Alwattan news site, the sources, which claim to be close to Islamic Jihad, did not say how many such missiles the terror group had, adding that “this is their ‘judgement day’ weapon.”

Reports in the past have said that Iran had supplied these missiles to Hebollah as far back as 2006, but they were apparently not used during the Second Lebanon War, Israeli officials said. The Zelzal missiles could be deflected or neutralized by the Patriot missile system, or Israel’s own Arrow protection system.

Earlier Sunday, a report in the British newspaper The Telegraph said that Hamas had signed an arms deal with North Korea in order to replenish its depleted rocket arsenal, after thousands were either fired at Israeli civilians or destroyed in IDF strikes in recent weeks. The report cited senior security sources who claimed that the deal, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, had already been signed, having been made via Lebanese intermediaries. Hamas has reportedly made an initial down payment in cash to Pyongyang, and is hoping for an imminent delivery to Gaza.

According to Israeli intelligence sources, North Korea has been providing other forms of aid to Hamas as well. North Korean experts are believed to have played a crucial role in helping Hamas build its vast network of "terror tunnels", designed to enable deadly infiltration attacks into Israel, based on the model of the authoritarian state’s own complex tunnel network under the Demilitarized Zone with South Korea – believed to be the most sophisticated such network in the world.