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Military Claims Hamas Utilizes North Korean and Iranian Weapons in Attack on Israel, According to Radio Free Asia

Hamas has used weapons sourced from North Korea and Iran to target Israel, the Israeli military said, supporting Radio Free Asia’s earlier report on the alleged arms connection between the North and Hamas.

Hamas used Iranian-made mortar rounds and North Korean rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) in its attack against Israel on Oct. 7, the Israeli military stated during an official media tour Thursday, as reported by AFP.

“I think about five to 10 percent of the weapons here [were] made in Iran,” an Israeli military official, who asked for the condition of anonymity, was cited as saying. “And 10% [are] North Korean. The rest of it was made inside the Gaza Strip.”

“I think the most surprising thing was the amount of weapons that they brought inside Israel,” the official added. 

Earlier this month, RFA reported on the potential use of North Korean weapons by Hamas militants. RFA’s thorough analysis was based on a video that displayed a man holding what seemed to be North Korean-made rocket launchers.

Following the report, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the findings, with its intelligence indicating a military connection between North Korea and Hamas. 

The latest confirmation from Israel followed as Pyongyang has been issuing statements, blaming the United States in the Middle East conflict. The conflict was a “tragedy created entirely by the United States,” North Korea’s official Korea Central News Agency said on Monday, claiming that Washington “has turned a blind eye to Israel, its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, continuous armed assaults, civilian casualties, and the expansion of Jewish settlements.” 

The move is widely seen as the North’s attempt to bolster its anti-American coalition, which could potentially strengthen its leverage against the U.S. and its allies. Over the past few weeks, North Korea’s foreign policy has shown signs of a larger strategy at play. From supporting Hamas to bolstering ties with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, Pyongyang appears keen on crafting a united front against Washington.

The strategy appears to bear results by aligning those opposed to U.S. policy. Last week, a portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was displayed at an anti-U.S. protest in the West Bank, underscoring the deep sentiments of the Palestinian people against the U.S.

The Oct. 7 attack, in which North Korean and Iranian weapons are used, killed over 1,400 individuals in Israel, primarily civilians, according to an official figure. In response, Israel has launched airstrikes that have led to approximately 7,000 deaths from the Palestine side, with the majority also being civilians, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.

Casualties are anticipated to increase on both sides as Israel’s military announced on Thursday that it had conducted a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces reported that its tanks and infantry units “struck numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts” before withdrawing to Israeli territory.

Edited by Elaine Chan and Taejun Kang.

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