Hamas and North Korea in secret arms deal: report

By Lee Hyun-jeong
  • Published : Jul 27, 2014 - 13:26
  • Updated : Jul 27, 2014 - 13:26
Islamic Extremist group Hamas is trying to seal a new arms deal with North Korea for missiles and communication equipment to keep up its offensive against Israel, the U.K. daily newspaper The Telegraph reported Saturday.

The arms deal is estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars and being handled by a Lebanese-based trading company which has close ties to the militant Palestinian organization, the news outlet said.

Hamas officials have already made the first payment, and it is believed that Pyongyang will soon ship extra supplies of weapons to Gaza, it added.

“Hamas is looking for ways to replenish its stocks of missiles because of the large numbers it has fired at Israel in recent weeks,” a security official was quoted as saying by The Telegraph. “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.”

Hamas is stepping up its efforts to ink a new agreement with North Korea for missiles and communications equipment in order to advance the ability of Hamas fighters against Israel.

The connection between Hamas and North Korea was first revealed in 2009 when 35 tons of arms were seized after a cargo plane carrying them was forced to make an emergency landing at Bangkok airport. The cargo included surface-to-surface rockets and rocket-propelled grenades. Authorities later confirmed that the arms were heading to Iran, and then to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.