Israeli Security Organization Suggests Possible Transfer of North Korean Tunneling Technology to Hamas

An Israeli security organization, the ALMA Research and Education Center, has raised the possibility of North Korea’s tunneling technology being transferred to the Palestinian armed faction, Hamas, through the Lebanese armed group, Hezbollah.

Sarit Zehavi, the President of the ALMA Research and Education Center, stated in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA) on the 17th that while it is not certain whether Hamas directly obtained tunneling technology from North Korea, there appears to be a likelihood that North Korea provided the technology to Hezbollah, which was subsequently passed on to Hamas.

Zehavi mentioned that Hezbollah’s tunneling technology is believed to be based on North Korean knowledge and emphasized the possibility that this technology indirectly contributed to the construction of tunnels used by Hamas in Israeli attacks.

She further explained that the tunnels created by Hamas after potentially receiving this technology from Hezbollah are considered strategic tunnels, capable of moving militants, vehicles, and military supplies from one location to another.

Zehavi also noted that the varied terrain in Israel, including concrete and desert areas, may have played a role in North Korean technology being adapted, particularly in areas resembling North Korean landscapes.

Previously, the ALMA Research and Education Center had reported in 2021 that North Korea’s “Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation” provided excavation techniques to Hezbollah’s “Jihad Construction Foundation” and sent six North Korean personnel near the Syrian border. Hezbollah reportedly signed a $13 million contract with this company in 2014, receiving materials and excavation technology.

The report also raised the possibility that the tunneling technology transferred to Hezbollah was later passed on to Hamas and used in the construction of what is referred to as the “Hamas Metro” – a network of underground tunnels used for transporting personnel and materials, as well as housing command and control facilities.

Hamas has, in the past, constructed an extensive underground maze, reportedly stretching up to 500 kilometers, to evade surveillance by Israeli reconnaissance aircraft and drones. If accurate, this would be a substantial network, nearly 1.5 times the length of Seoul’s subway system, which spans 350 kilometers in total.

There is also analysis suggesting that if Israel deploys ground forces in Gaza, Hamas might consider this area as a “last line of defense,” using it to hold hostages and civilians in resistance.

Previously, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff stated on the 17th that Hamas is believed to be indirectly and directly linked to North Korea in various fields, including arms trade, tactical guidance, and training.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff evaluated that Hamas’ tactics, such as surprise attacks on holidays, large-scale rocket launches to neutralize the Iron Dome (Israel’s rocket defense system), and the use of drones to infiltrate and disrupt various surveillance, communication, and shooting control systems, resemble North Korean tactics.

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