The Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas on Saturday offered to share its rocket arsenal with any Arab country that would be willing to attack Israel.
Fathi Hammad, a spokesman for the Iran-backed Islamist group, said in an interview with the Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV that the group has become “the leading manufacturer of missiles among Arab countries.” He added that Hamas is “prepared” to sell the missiles “so that they will launch them against the Jews, not for infighting among themselves.”
Over the past decade, Hamas has fired tens of thousands of rockets at Israel and developed more accurate projectiles, including the upgraded Qassam rocket and the longer-range M-75, which can reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Hamas has also been trained to manufacture equivalents of the Iranian Fajr-5, which carries a 175 kilogram payload, and has acquired Syrian-made M-302s, which were used to target Haifa and Jerusalem during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
While Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip ever since Hamas violently ousted Fatah from the territory in 2007, the Islamist group has managed to establish an elaborate smuggling network, developing what Hammad called “a touch in military manufacturing which can compete with international manufacturers.”
While Hamas rockets lack accuracy, they carry significant destructive power and have claimed tens of Israeli lives over the past decade. A significant number of these rockets also fall short of hitting their Israeli targets, causing damage and loss of life in Gaza.
It is unclear what Arab nation would be interested in taking up Hammad’s offer, the Post noted. Egypt, which has been at peace with Israel for decades, resents Hamas’ support of Islamic State-affiliated jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula and of Salafists opposed to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Jordan is similarly at peace with Israel, Syria and Iraq are involved in their own internal conflicts, the Gulf states are increasingly cooperating with Israel, and Lebanon — while technically in a state of war with Israel since 1948 — is highly unlikely to seek a resumption of open hostilities.
The only Arab force that may be prepared to respond to Hammad’s invitation is the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, which has accumulated an arsenal estimated to consist of 130,000 rockets and does not need Hamas’ assistance to attack Israel.
Hammad’s offer comes on heels of Israel’s announcement last week that it broke up a Hamas ring that sought to kidnap soldiers and hold them for ransom.
[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Flickr ]