Officials said Libyan smugglers have acquired missiles and rockets
captured by rebels in the war against Col. Moammar Gadhafi. They said the
weapons have been smuggled through Egypt to the Gaza Strip.
"Weapons are available in Libya as a result of the unstable situation
there, and Hamas has exploited it to buy weapons from Libyan smugglers,"
Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said.
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In a briefing on July 21, Ya'alon did not specify the Libyan munitions
acquired by the Hamas regime, Middle East Newsline reported. But Ya'alon, also strategic affairs minister,
asserted that the Libyan weapons have been flowing through Egypt's Sinai
Peninsula to the Gaza Strip over the last four months.
Other officials said the Libyan weapons included anti-tank guided
missiles, surface-to-air missiles and extended-range variants of the
Russian-origin BM-21 Grad rocket. They said the Israeli government has
discussed the Libyan weapons flow with the new military regime in Cairo.
"We estimate the number of missiles and rockets that have arrived from
Libya to Gaza at about 1,000," an official said.
On July 25, an Israeli security source said Hamas has smuggled what he
termed "balance-altering weapons" to the Gaza Strip. The source did not
elaborate, but the term "balance-altering" has usually been reserved for
long-range rockets or air defense systems.