American Guns May Be Used By Hamas
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
JERUSALEM – If Hamas agrees to incorporate its 3,000-strong Gaza militia into the general Palestinian Arab police, Force 17, the presidential guard units of the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, may share with Hamas a cache of American weapons it recently was provided by America and Israel, a senior Force 17 officer told The New York Sun in an exclusive interview.
The officer, Abu Yousuf, hinted that the weapons, which were transferred to his group in recent days, have already been used in a spate of shooting attacks by the terror group Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, including an ambush yesterday that left three Israeli schoolgirls wounded.
He said the weapons also may be shared with other terror groups in addition to Hamas and the Brigades.
“If the conditions on the ground will oblige us [and Hamas joins with the Palestinian Arab police] we will not hesitate to share these new weapons with our brothers of the Hamas and the other organizations,” Mr. Yousuf said.
The weapons cache included 3,000 American-made M-16 assault rifles and more than 1 million rounds of ammunition, Palestinian Arab officials involved in the transfer told the Sun. Press reports had stated the transfer, which was credited to Israel, consisted of 370 assault rifles and an unspecified amount of bullets.
Mr. Yousuf called the Sun yesterday to take credit for a shooting attack in which an armored Israeli bus in the northern Samaria region came under fire. Three schoolgirls were slightly injured. Security officials said that if the bus had not been armored, the injuries would have been more serious.
Mr. Yousuf said he was taking credit for the bus ambush on behalf of Al-Aqsa Brigades and not Force 17.
A source close to the Brigades told the Sun after yesterday’s ambush, “It is not a coincidence that as soon as these new weapons arrive, there is an increase in shootings against Israelis.”
Mr. Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com.