January 9, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Developing Precision-Guided Munitions With Iranian Help

January 9, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Developing Precision-Guided Munitions With Iranian Help

Latest Developments

Israel has uncovered evidence demonstrating that Iran assisted Hamas with developing precision-guided munitions (PGMs) in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on January 7. The IDF discovered the intelligence in an underground weapons manufacturing facility in northern Gaza, beneath Gaza City. It was not clear from initial reports how close Hamas was to achieving functional precision weapons.

In a Sunday morning statement, the IDF said Hamas was learning “how to operate and build precise components.” While Hamas is known to have an extensive arsenal of weapons, the IDF appeared to be unaware that the terrorist group was developing PGMs.  

Expert Analysis

“Israel has for years been deeply concerned about the Iranian proliferation of PGMs on its borders. But the problem was long assumed to be in Lebanon. The extent of the Hamas PGM program is not yet known. But it would appear that the Israeli war against Hamas came at an opportune time, before the program was able to begin generating these lethal munitions in quantities that could impact the security equation.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

“One of Israel’s painful lessons from this conflict is this: The IDF’s intel on Hamas was not up to scratch. With Iran’s help, Hamas may have soon been able to develop and deploy precision weapons and manufacture enough long-range missiles to cause real damage to the State of Israel.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Precision Guided Munitions Present a Significant Threat to Israel

Satellite-guided PGMs have the capability to maneuver in midair and strike targets with pinpoint accuracy. They can also potentially evade Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which has protected Israelis from more than 10,000 Hamas rockets since October 7. While Hamas was not known to have PGMs in its arsenal, Hezbollah in southern Lebanon is believed to be in possession of hundreds.

IDF Discovers Large Hamas Rocket Facility

During a separate but related operation in Gaza over the weekend, the IDF discovered the largest Hamas rocket facility found to date. The facility was part of a Hamas military hub that included a control center and a series of weapons production facilities connected by underground tunnels in the area of Bureij in Gaza.

The IDF believes that Hamas likely used the facility to develop the long-range missiles that have targeted Israeli population centers since the war began. The IDF published a video of a large weapons manufacturing warehouse — apparently a component of the Bureij facility. Below the facility, the video also showed the sophisticated tunnel network where rockets and missiles were disseminated across Gaza.

PGMs: Iran’s Precision-Guided Munitions Project in the Shadow of a Nuclear Deal,” by Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer

Israel Shifts to ‘Third Phase’ of Gaza War,” FDD Flash Brief

Russia Acquires North Korean Missiles, Eyes Iranian Missiles,’’ FDD Flash Brief


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