In a recent TV interview, PFLP-GC Secretary-General Ahmad Jibril said that Hamas had received help from Syria, Iran, and Hizbullah in training and in transferring weapons to the Gaza Strip. The weapons were transferred from Tehran to the Sinai, where Bedouin cells established by Hizbullah smuggled them into the Gaza Strip, he said in the Al-Manar TV interview, broadcast on July 17, 2014.
Following are excerpts.
Ahmad Jibril: The axis of resistance extends from Palestine to Lebanon, Syria, and Tehran. It has been active day and night so that the Gaza Strip could be steadfast...
Interviewer: To arm these factions...
Ahmad Jibril: To arm them, and to develop these weapons. In 2008, most of the missiles we had were improved Grad missiles, with a range of 33 kilometers. During Operation Cast Lead, they reached settlements up to 33 km from Gaza. Today, the range of the missiles has leaped to 100-120 kilometers.
After 2008, hundreds of our young people left the Gaza Strip for Syria, Lebanon, and Tehran, to train and to learn how to improve these weapons. Allah be praised, these weapons indeed were improved.
I am convinced that in the future we will have not only long-range missiles, but also missiles with larger warheads.
The brothers in Syria, in Iran, and even in Hizbullah provided a lot of help both in the scientific sense and in transferring weapons and equipment.
Interviewer: In training as well?
Ahmad Jibril: Yes. Let me give you an example. We have training camps in Syria. The brothers in Hizbullah are very familiar with them. We have shared these camps with the brothers of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
We also have research centers. We contacted the Syrians, and they sent their engineers there. The tests were carried out in valleys in Syria. Their helicopters went out to examine where the targets were hit, and to study the aerodynamics when the missiles diverged from their paths.
Interviewer: So there was monitoring, as well.
Ahmad Jibril: Then we discussed the transferring of these weapons. This was no simple matter. The route from Tehran via the Gulf is under surveillance. We transferred [the missiles] from the airports in Damascus to Khartoum, from Khartoum to Port Sudan, and from there to the Sinai. From the Sinai, they were transferred via tunnels to the Gaza Strip.
The brothers in Hizbullah established cells of Bedouin and so on in the Sinai Desert. You could transfer the weapons to them, and they would get them into Gaza. If there are people who refuse to acknowledge these facts, I can tell them that this is only part of the story.