Iran flooding Palestinian Authority with weapons: Report

Tehran is smuggling arms into PA territory, in hopes of creating new front in Israel’s ongoing war.

By World Israel News Staff

Iran is operating a smuggling network spanning much of the region to smuggle a deluge of weapons, including handguns, assault rifles, and other small arms into Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria.

Tehran hopes that by flooding PA-administered territories with weapons, a new front will open in Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terror groups.

According to a New York Times report, the two main smuggling routes stretch from Iran and snake through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, finally ending in Israel.

Bedouins who clandestinely cross the border between Jordan and Israel, as well as from Jordan to PA-controlled areas and from PA-controlled areas to Israel, are a key resource for Iran in the operation,

“The Iranians wanted to flood [Judea and Samaria] with weapons, and they were using criminal networks in Jordan, in the West Bank and in Israel, primarily Bedouin, to move and sell the products,” Matthew Levitt, director of the counterterrorism program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Times.

While not directly acknowledging involvement in the weapons smuggling, a senior Iranian official speaking to the news outlet reiterated Tehran’s support for violent terror attacks against Israel.

“Iran’s assessment posits that the sole effective avenue for resisting the occupation by the Zionist regime is through armed resistance,” Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran’s ambassador to the U.N., said to the Times.

Iravani then claimed that Palestinian terror groups have enough resources to obtain weapons, though he again did not state whether or not Iran has helped them gain access to arms.

“Palestinian resistance forces possess the capability to manufacture and procure the necessary armaments for their cause,” he added.

In a recent statement, the Shin Bet intelligence agency said it had seized advanced military equipment that had been illicitly transferred into PA-administered areas.

The Shin Bet said it “takes very seriously involvement in activities directed by Iran and its affiliates and will continue to carry out active measures at all times to monitor and thwart any activity that endangers the security of the state of Israel.”