How the Gazan Resistance Manufactures Rockets with Help from Iran, Syria, and Hizbullah

(Al-Akhbar-Lebanon) Qassem Qassem, Youssef Fares, and Abdel Rahman Nassar - Gazan resistance fighters traveled to Tehran to attend intensive training sessions. Over many months they gained invaluable skills, starting with on-hands application of theories, to testing weapons and tactics in environments simulating the geography in Gaza. The resistance fighters transferred their experience to Gaza, where they helped manufacture and develop rockets, and provided training on how to emplace and camouflage them. The training did not come only from Iran, as fighters also underwent the same kind of training in Syria. Since 2005, following the withdrawal of the Israeli enemy from the Philadelphia Corridor, the southern border with Egypt was now open to the resistance fighters, creating better conditions for smuggling in weapons and raw materials through tunnels to manufacture rockets. A new stage began in which fighters from Gaza flocked to Lebanon, and collaborated with the resistance there to bring in more weapons and military equipment. The first Fajr-5 rockets arrived in Gaza in 2011, and were used for the first time in 2012. At the time, Israel accused the IRGC of supplying rockets to the resistance. The commander of the IRGC, Mohammad Ali Jafari, responded by confirming the transfer of Fajr rockets, and added that he would be seeking to supply other rocket systems. Leading sources in Islamic Jihad said that the majority of weapons that arrived in Gaza and used in the battles of 2012 and 2014 had come through during Hosni Mubarak's term. In those years, the authorities in Egypt turned a blind eye to smuggling in Sinai. Then under President Mohammed Morsi, the resistance stockpiled a fair amount of rockets and hardware. However, smuggling weapons under Morsi was more difficult than under Mubarak, though it was easier under him to move fighters out of Gaza for training. In late 2012, the Israeli air force bombed a weapons convoy in Sudan, said to be on its way to Gaza. At that point, the Iranians realized that the best option to supply rockets to the Palestinian resistance was to help manufacture them locally. Accordingly, Tehran worked with Hizbullah to train Gazans on setting up plants to manufacture rockets. The Gaza war in 2014 demonstrated the worth of months of training in Iran. Assistant Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amir Abdul-Lahian said the IRGC had transferred rocket-making technology to the Palestinians.

2014-11-14 00:00:00

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