“Military forces are like those of a state,” says an analyst quoted by the Washington Post
Anti-tank missiles – particularly lethal – but also laser-guided missiles, shoulder-propelled grenade launchers, latest generation sniper rifles, paragliders, rocket launchers, magnetic bombs, attack drones, mini submarines, land mines, long-range rockets capable to strike Haifa, to the north, Eilat, to the south, from the Strip: these are the weapons in the arsenal of Hamas which, as one analyst quoted by the Washington Post summarized, “she managed to arm herself to the teeth“. The time of the Intifada, in which the Palestinians used stones and Molotov cocktails against Israel, is long gone.
Many of the weapons available to the organization have been brought to the Strip through tunnels and by sea over the last ten years, they are the remnants of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and also products from Iran and North Korea. Other weapons were assembled with ever-increasing capacity inside the Strip, in workshops in underground tunnels.
Hamas military forces, around 30 thousand men, they are so well armed and well trained that their brigades resemble “regular forces”as explained by Michael Milshtein, former head of the Palestinian department of the Israeli forces and analyst at the Dayan Center of Tel Aviv University.
“There is nothing new or surprising about the weapons. The biggest surprise is their quantity.” Former Israeli intelligence officer, Avi Melamed and founder of Inside the Middle East Institute, confirms that the “enemy is massively armed.
We’re not talking about kids running around armed with a gun.” Anti-tank missiles deployed by Hamas include the North Korean Bulsae-2, a copy of the Soviet Fagot, Rpg-7 of Russian origin as well as the North Korean F-7 version, Russian-type missiles Kornet and Konkurs, Iranian Raad, a version of the Soviet Malyutka.
“A cocktail of foreign weapons that can complicate life even in the most technological army in an urban combat scenario. And the more Israeli forces penetrate Gaza, the more anti-tank missiles will be used”, explained Behnam Ben Taleblu, of the Foundation for Washington’s Defense of Democracies. Finally, if in 1967 Israel managed to defeat Egypt in six days with three divisions. Now, with the same force, after a month in Gaza the results are very different.