Why did Egypt help Israel

How Iran supports Hamas

The Revolutionary Guards in Iran reacted to the announcement of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in their own way: with the presentation of a new combat drone called "Gaza", which supposedly can stay in the air for 20 hours and carry up to 13 bombs.

Drones, albeit of a smaller caliber and on a small scale, have also been used in the recent escalation in the Middle East. Hamas posted a video on the Internet three days after its rocket attacks began. Accompanied by electronic rhythms, it showed the preparation of a "Shehab" type drone, which is being fired by a group of Hamas militiamen, apparently, so the video suggests, in the direction of Israel. On the same day, the Israeli military in turn posted a video showing the shooting down of such a drone.

Wreckage of an Iranian drone of the "Qasef" type

Replica drones as a new threat

The roughly 4,000 rockets of various ranges that Hamas and other militant groups in the Gaza Strip have rained down on Israeli territory between May 10 and the current ceasefire are inaccurate. The situation is different with drones that find their targets using navigation systems. Israel assumes that Hamas will construct these drones with its own material, but according to Iranian blueprints. "The draft is Iranian, but the production is local," the media quoted former Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh as saying.

Iranian "Ababil" and "Qasef" drones are apparently used by Hamas and other Islamist organizations in the cordoned-off coastal strip as a model for their own model. Everything indicates that Iran continues to support Hamas, says Hugh Lovatt of the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank. "In the meantime, this aid should primarily take the form of the transfer of military-technical expertise." The reason: the closure of smugglers' tunnels through Egypt since 2014 and the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel last year. "To what extent and via which routes the smuggling is still going on cannot be clearly determined," says Hugh Lovatt.

Israeli missile defense in action

Help for military self-help

"It is precisely because direct delivery is so difficult that Iran has helped Hamas to be self-sufficient in the production of rockets and missiles," says Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group. "He implemented this lesson effectively in Yemen, among others." From there, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels carried out a spectacular attack on Saudi oil plants last year using Iranian-type drones.

In 2018, Nasser Abu Sharif, the representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PID), an extremist organization in the Gaza Strip, announced publicly in Tehran that Hamas and PID fighters in Iran were being trained by the Revolutionary Guard to build and convert missiles.

The "Jerusalem Post" quotes a military analysis published in Farsi by the Iranian news agency Tasnim last Saturday. According to this, Hamas increased the speed of its rockets with Iranian support. "If this continues, the resistance groups will have much more sophisticated weapons than they do now and will be able to inflict stronger blows on the Zionist regime."

Ali Khamenei: "The fight against the despotic regime (Israel) is a civic duty"

Iran's motives

Iran sees itself under military pressure, says Hugh Lovatt. "The country has few political partners. That is why it relies primarily on alliances with armed groups." The most important partner in this regard is the Lebanese Hezbollah, plus some Shiite militia groups in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. The support of Hamas by Iran is "manageable" in comparison to these groups.

Iran expert Ali Vaez also thinks that Iran wants to prevent an attack from outside through alliances with non-state actors. Iran cannot defend itself against most of its regional and international rivals. That is why the country relied on alliances with such groups. "In other words, it is an aggressive defense doctrine," said Vaez.

At the moment, Iran appears to be emphasizing the aggressive component. The religious leader Khamenei declared on May 7th, known as "Al-Quds Day": "The decline of the Zionist enemy has begun and it will not stop." He also gave the reasons for his assessment, namely "the continued activities of the resistance in the occupied countries and the support of the Muslims for the Palestinian mujahideen." Three days later, the first rockets flew from Gaza in the direction of Israel, which was seen in the Israeli media as a result of the "encouragement" from Tehran.