Hamas is attempting to negotiate a new arms deal with North Korea, the Telegraph reported Saturday.
According to the report, that has not been confirmed, the two sides are working to reach a deal for missiles and communications equipment that will allow the Gaza terror group to maintain its offensive against Israel.
Quoting an unnamed Western security officials, the report said the deal between Hamas and North Korea is valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars and is being brokered by a Lebanese-based trading company that has ties with Hamas' Beirut office.
The report by the UK paper even went on to claim Hamas is now waiting for North Kora to begin shipping the arms and extra supplies to Gaza officials after the terror group made an initial cash down payment.
- Report: IAF struck Sudan weapons stockpile headed for Hamas
- UN experts trace Klos C arms ship to Iran
- IDF captures Iranian ship carrying advanced rockets for Gaza
Quoting the security source, the report by the Telegraph's defense editor Con Coughlin said “Hamas is looking for ways to replenish its stocks of missiles because of the large numbers it has fired at Israel in recent weeks.
"North Korea is an obvious place to seek supplies because Pyongyang already has close ties with a number of militant Islamist groups in the Middle East."
Israel has at times targeted arms shipments headed towards Gaza, most recently stopping the Klos-C, a cargo ship laden with Iranian missiles en route to Gaza through the Red Sea. At times, according to foreign reports, Israel has even targeted arms shipments and warehouses in Sudan suspected of housing arms for Hamas.
According to the Telegraph, with the use of intermediaries based in Lebanon, Hamas is said to working hard to sign a new arms agreement with Pyongyang so as to provide it with what the report said would be hundreds of missiles together with communications equipment that will allow Hamas to improve its fighters ability to coordinate against the IDF.
In 2010, Reuters reported that a large arms shipment from the North Korea was captured en route to Iran where it was supposed to reach Hamas and Hezbollah.
At the time, more than 35 tones of arms including rockets and rocket-propelled grenades were seized from a cargo plane after it made an emergency landing at a Bangkok airport in December. Thai authorities said the plane came from North Korea.