Hamas Has Only Used 10 Percent of Its Arsenal, Iran Says

Tehran-backed group equipped to resume hostilities on Israel

Hamas fighters in Gaza City (Getty Images)
November 29, 2023

Hamas has only used 10 to 12 percent of its military arsenal during its two-month long war with Israel, according to an Iranian official, indicating the Tehran-backed terror group will have no problem resuming missile strikes on the Jewish state if a tenuous ceasefire agreement expires in the coming days.

"I met in Beirut with a group from Islamic Jihad and Hamas leaders, and they have reassured me that so far they have used only 10 to 12 percent of the capabilities and forces they have inside Gaza," Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was quoted as saying this week following meetings in Qatar, which provides safe haven for Hamas’s leadership.

"Approximately 90 percent of the Palestinian capabilities, forces, and weapons are still held by them and have not been used so far," Amir-Abdollahian added, according to a translation of his remarks performed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a group that tracks jihadist rhetoric. "Therefore, they are in a good place."

The Iranian diplomat’s comments indicate that Tehran is closely tracking Hamas’s weapons supply to ensure it can sustain attacks on Israel if the ceasefire collapses in the coming days. Tehran not only armed Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups waging war on Israel but reportedly helped them plan the Oct. 7 attack that resulted in the slaughter of more than 1,200 Israelis and threw the region into open war.

Other Iranian leaders said earlier this week that Tehran, in advance of Hamas’s attack on Israel, provided the terror group with Fajr-3 rockets, an advanced artillery rocket based off North Korean designs.

"I traveled to the region as the production manager of those rockets, and I supplied them both to Hezbollah and the Palestinians," Iranian official Ezzatollah Zarghami, a retired general with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said for the first time publicly in an Arabic language interview also translated by MEMRI.

"For some time, I was inside the very same tunnels that they are fighting from," Zarghami said, referring to the complex network of tunnels Hamas built beneath Gaza and used to infiltrate Israel to carry out its attack. "I provided training about the usage and specification of the rockets. These training courses were highly successful."

These disclosures come as Iran seeks to bolster its own supply of advanced military hardware, which it could in turn provide to its terror proxies.

Tehran on Wednesday said that it finalized a deal with Russia to import several advanced attack helicopters and jets for its armed forces. The new hardware will provide Tehran’s military "with a much-needed equipment upgrade," according to the country’s state-controlled press.