HomeNewsHamas terrorists likely used North Korean weapons during brutal attack on Israel,...

Hamas terrorists likely used North Korean weapons during brutal attack on Israel, evidence shows

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The Hamas terrorists that carried out a barbaric assault in Israel on Oct. 7 likely used North Korean weapons, analysis and various evidence including a militant video and weapons seized by Israel now show. North Korea has previously denied selling arms to the terrorist group.

One weapon at the center of the controversy, used by Hamas, is the F-7 rocket-propelled grenade, a shoulder-fired weapon that fighters typically use against armored vehicles. A video of Hamas terrorists using the F-7 rocket launcher has been confirmed through analysis by two experts on North Korean arms and South Korean military intelligence. The Associated Press also conducted an analysis of weapons captured on the battlefield.

These rocket launchers fire a single warhead and can be quickly reloaded, making them valuable weapons for smaller militias and guerrilla forces running skirmishes against heavy vehicles.

“It is not a surprise to see North Korean weapons with Hamas,” said Matt Schroeder, a senior researcher with Small Arms Survey who wrote a guide to Pyongyang’s light weapons.


Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades’ dissidents march in the streets of Gaza City 24 May 2006 as they declare their allegiance to Hamas security forces. The 1,000 Fatah defectors are loyal to Khaled Mussa Abu Hilal, an ex-Fatah official who went to work for the Hamas government shortly after the Islamists won elections in January. The Fatah Central Committee promptly expelled Abu Hilal.  (PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to the F-7 rocket launcher, Hamas propaganda videos and photos have shown its fighters with North Korea’s Bulsae guided anti-tank missile.

Hamas also used North Korea’s Type 58 self-loading rifle, a variant of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, according to N.R. Jenzen-Jones, a weapons expert who works as the director of the consultancy Armament Research Services.

A photo of rockets

Suspected North Korean-made F-7 rocket-propelled grenades, many with a distinctive red stripe on their warhead, are seen at an Israeli military base in southern Israel, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. Hamas fighters likely used North Korean-manufactured rocket-propelled grenades during their unprecedented assault on Israel that killed over 1,400 people and saw scores taken hostage. (AP Photo/ Alon Bernstein)

Jenzen-Jones cited imagery of the weapons wielded by Hamas terrorists.

“North Korea has long supported Palestinian militant groups, and North Korean arms have previously been documented amongst interdicted supplies,” Jenzen-Jones told The Associated Press.


Russia uses similar weaponry and the North Korean F-7 resembles a widely distributed Soviet-era RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade, but has a few noticeable differences including a distinctive red stripe across its warhead.

Hamas has published images of their training that show fighters with a weapon with a rocket-propelled grenade with the red stripe, and other design elements matching the F-7, Schroeder said.

Hamas fighters with various weapons

Masked Hamas gunman stands in the alleys of Jabaliya refugee camp, the centre of the fighting in the northern Gaza Strip since Israel launched its operation “Days of Penitence” a week ago, 05 October 2004. Israeli troops pressed on with their offensive in the Gaza Strip as the United Nations was set to vote on a resolution calling for halt to the onslaught that has killed almost 80 Palestinians.    (PEDRO UGARTE/AFP via Getty Images)

A militant video examined by the AP shows one fighter carrying the F-7, with the evident red stripe. Weapons seized by the Israeli military and shown to journalists also included the red stripe and other design elements matching the F-7.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff specifically identified the F-7 as one of the North Korean weapons it believed Hamas used in the attack during a press briefing Tuesday.

The Israeli military declined to identify the origin and the manufacturer of those rocket-propelled grenades, citing the ongoing war with Hamas.

Jenzen-Jones said the F-7 has been documented in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

North Korean soldiers

North Korean soldiers stand on armored vehicles with rocket launchers as they parade in Pyongyang, North Korea on Oct. 10, 2015. Hamas fighters likely used North Korean-manufactured rocket-propelled grenades during their unprecedented assault on Israel that killed over 1,400 people and saw scores taken hostage, despite Pyongyang denying its weapons arm the militant group.  (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Last week, Pyongyang dismissed that it was supplying Hamas with its weapons as “a groundless and false rumor” orchestrated by the United States.


“The U.S. administration’s reptile press bodies and quasi-experts are spreading a groundless and false rumor that ‘North Korea’s weapons’ seemed to be used for the attack on Israel,” North Korean international affairs commentator Ri Kwang-song said through its state-run KCNA news agency.

“It is nothing but a bid to shift the blame for the Middle East crisis caused by its wrong hegemonic policy onto a third country and thus evade the international criticism focused on the empire of evil,” the statement continued.

Rockets and Hamas terrorists on a truck

Members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas display rockets during a military parade on the Streets in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip.  (Yousef Masoud/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In 2012, the United States detected a North Korean cargo plane reportedly carrying rockets and rocket-propelled grenades that had been bound for Hamas.


North Korea has maintained diplomatic relations with Palestinian leaders since 1966.

The White House said last week that North Korea continues to supply conventional arms to Russia, after it delivered more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions to resupply Russia’s military in its war with Ukraine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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