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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Report: Hezbollah and Iran opened "missile bridge" to supply Hamas

Lebanon's Al Akhbar, a site associated with Hezbollah, reports that Hezbollah is in contact with Hamas to replenish its arsenal of long-range rockets that has been reportedly decimated by Israeli airstrikes.

The report says that on Friday an alert was sounded in the ranks of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. It was raised towards all those who know how to smuggle weapons from Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Sudan and other countries to the Gaza Strip.

During the first hours of the fighting, there was communication between Hezbollah and the terror factions in Gaza, especially Hamas, to determine the size of the damage done to the stores of long-range missiles. Lebanese and Palestinian terror groups along with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are working to supply groups in Gaza, in anticipation of a prolonged battle. According to the report, the focus is on the transfer of large amounts of long-range missiles.

Sources told the paper that were emphatic that the supply lines will not stop. Although the efforts to transfer arms to Gaza suffered a major setback as a result of fighting in Syria, which was the main waystation in the operations of arming terror factions since before the outbreak of the second intifada, but the decision of Iran and Hezbollah to continue the flow of weapons is said to be "irreversible."

The article goes through a history of Iran sending weapons to Gaza, and Israel's fight against it, including a string of assassinations against those responsible, such as Ali Deeb (Abu Hassan Salameh), Jihad Ahmed Jibril, Ali Saleh, Ghaleb Awali, Brigadier (in the Syrian army) Mohammed Suleiman, and others. Some Hamas fighters were assassinated in Syria and abroad for this reason as well, not to mention Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was (probably) assassinated by Israeli intelligence in Dubai in 2010, and even the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh comes, at least partially, within the framework of the Israeli war on the transfer of arms to Gaza.

Al Akhbar goes on to say that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards has been in contact not only with Hamas but with Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and some factions of the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Salah al-Din Brigades of the PRC and the PFLP-GC. Since 2005, the Iranians have been supplying these groups with all types of weapons that can be transferred: from light and medium weapons, to mortars and medium and long-range rockets, as well as ammunition and materials that can be used for the manufacture of rockets and missiles. The reporter goes on to say that they have also been working on the transfer of hundreds of fighters from Gaza to Syria and Iran, where they underwent training programs on military tactics, and the use of sophisticated weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

I was reporting about terrorists leaving Gaza to get training in Iran, pretending to only travel for Hajj, in 2007. All in all, this Al Akhbar article seems to accurately reflect the thinking at Hezbollah and Iran.

The big question is whether Egypt will act to stop this weapons smuggling - or encourage it. Egyptian security forces have not been too bad, but Morsi has been signalling a different direction, and his Muslim Brotherhood have been staging anti-Israel protests.

The US must communicate to Egypt immediately that if there is the slightest evidence that they are allowing weapons to be smuggled to Gaza that they will lose their $1.5 billion in aid. This is absolutely critical, and I hope that the White House makes this crystal clear.

(h/t Yoel/Walla)