Israel’s own bombs are the main source of Hamas explosives – report

In addition, many arms Hamas are using were stolen from IDF bases.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

In a report that is a bombshell in more ways than one, The New York Times reported Sunday that Hamas is using Israel’s own shells against her, repurposing their contents in the rockets it has launched at the country in their thousands since its surprise attack on October 7, 2023 that launched the ongoing war.

“Unexploded ordnance is a main source of explosives for Hamas,” said Michael Cardash, an ex-deputy head of Israel’s National Police Bomb Disposal Division. “They are cutting open bombs from Israel, artillery bombs from Israel, and a lot of them are being used, of course… for their explosives and rockets.”

Israeli investigators found proof of this after inspecting in turn Hamas rockets shot at the Jewish state that failed to explode, and finding that its military-grade contents were “probably” from a old missile fired by the Israeli air force, said the report.

Other weapons found to contain Israeli explosives include like anti-tank mines, thermobaric and rocket-propelled grenades, and improvised devices.

According to unnamed weapons experts cited by the New York daily, due to years of answering Hamas terror attacks with short rounds of warfare that were mostly confined to air strikes, but especially since all-out war was declared over three months ago, there are “thousands of tons” of explosives lying around the coastal enclave, since statistically about 10% of ordinance does not detonate on contact.

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As the report noted, “One 750-pound bomb that fails to detonate can become hundreds of missiles or rockets.” The terrorists’ “sophisticated” rocket manufacturing sites, some of which IDF forces have found both above and deep underground over the past few weeks, are capable of “saw[ing] into the warheads of bombs weighing up to 2,000 pounds, to harvest the explosives,” it added.

Israeli officials are reportedly nonplussed at the extent to which Hamas has been able to repurpose the contents of air force munitions.

They perhaps should not have been surprised, however, as Hamas has boasted of its abilities to do this in online videos and to reporters in the Arab media.

After 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, for example, Gazan teams collected undetonated howitzer rounds and bombs with the deliberate “aim to repurpose these pieces, turning this crisis into an opportunity,” a Hamas Qassam Brigades commander told Al Jazeera some six years later.

It is yet one more sign of how badly Israel underestimated the capabilities and drive of its Islamic extremist enemy, which overran the border in over two dozen places with some 3,000 combatants on foot, in trucks and by motorized hang gliders to massacre over 1,200 people in Gazan envelope communities on what Israelis are calling “the black Sabbath.”

Another source of concern is the sheer number of IDF rifles, ammunition and grenades that Israeli soldiers in Gaza have found in storage sites in and under schools, homes, mosques and hospitals, as well as on the bodies of dead Hamas combatants.

The problem of massive thefts from IDF bases has been well covered in the Israeli media. Now the army knows where a good part of the deadly goods ended up, successfully smuggled into Gaza despite all of Israel’s efforts to block the flow.

Jerusalem has blamed Egypt for not doing enough to prevent tunnel smuggling under its own border with Gaza, a claim that Cairo angrily denies. Israel would like to control the Philadelphi corridor that runs along southern Gaza as it did before the 2005 Disengagement for this reason, but Egypt has so far firmly rejected the idea, saying it would contravene its peace agreement with Israel.