Report: Gaza gets anti-plane arms from Libya

By REUTERS
August 29, 2011 21:33

 
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JERUSALEM - Palestinians in Gaza have acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from Libya during its six-month civil war, enlarging but not significantly improving their arsenal, Israeli officials said on Monday.

While the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi has stirred concern abroad about the fate of Libya's aging chemical weapons stockpiles, Israel has no indication Hamas or other Palestinian factions have sought these, the officials said.

Instead, Israeli officials have detected an inflow of SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), said one official, describing an overland supply route that opened up between eastern Libya -- after it fell to the rebels -- and the Gaza Strip via Egypt.

The Soviet-designed SA-7 is a shoulder-fired, heat-seaking missile which Israel said Palestinians had previously smuggled into Gaza. Rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), designed to penetrate armor, are plentiful in the territory.

Another Israeli official said "thousands" of the weapons had reached Gaza in recent months, but did not provide figures on how many had originated in Libya.

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