As tensions between Hamas and Israel heighten, Hamas militants are reportedly attempting to negotiate an arms deal with North Korea that would include missiles and communications equipment according to Western security forces as reported by the UK news organization, The Telegraph.
With intermediaries based in Lebanon, it's reported that Hamas officials are attempting to sign a new agreement with the N. Korea capital of Pyongyang worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and is being handled by a Lebanese-based trading company with ties to the Palestinian organization in East Beirut.
As the conflict ensues between Israel and Hamas, the Gaza strip has been seeing increasing numbers of civilian casualities, and an almost irreverence by the conflicting nations. According to news sources, since July 8, Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip have hit more than 2,000 targets in Gaza and Hamas. Hamas is said to have launched nearly 1,500 rockets back at Israeli, but exact figures are unknown at this time.
This offensive has reportedly taken many lives, and according to statistics presented by The Sydney Morning Herald, 95 percent of those deaths are Palestinians, and increasing number of those killed are young children. The youngest was reportedly three-months-old, and more than half of those children killed are said to be under the age of 12.
It is currently unknown whether or not any deal has been made, but the consensus appears to be that a payment to secure the deal has already been secured, and that North Korea may soon be shipping supplies and weaponry to the Gaza Strip; outfitting them to better combat, and coordinate military operations against the much more technologically capable forces in Israel.
In December of 2009, it was revealed that Hamas and North Korea had relations in arms dealing when the Thai government seized 35 tons of weaponry from a North Korean cargo plane after it was forced to make an emergency landing in Don Mueang International Airport. Then, the weapons were reportedly en route to Iran, and claimed by then Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, that they were intended to be smuggled into Hamas in a news conference.
The Israeli military commanders supervising the recent operations in Gaza, also believe that North Korean military leaders have been giving advice to Hamas, especially on the construction of tunnels that would enable soldiers to move undetected by Israeli drones reports The Daily Star. This assertion is made without credible attribution, however, North Korea is largely known for its sophisticated tunnel systems running beneath the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with South Korea.