Less than a week after the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense, and with Hamas boasting of an imminent increase in military aid from Iran, Israeli satellites have spotted a ship at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas being loaded with rockets and other military supplies ostensibly bound for Gaza, the British Sunday Times has reported.
The report cites Israeli intelligence sources who surmised that the cargo would be shipped to Sudan and from there smuggled over land to Gaza.
According to the report, the cargo may include — in addition to Fajr-5 rockets of the likes already fired by Hamas during the recent conflict, and whose stocks were reportedly depleted by Israeli bombings — components of Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, which could be stationed in Sudan and used as a direct threat to Israel.
“With a lot of effort, Iran has skillfully built a strategic arm pointing at Israel from the south,” an Israeli source was quoted as saying.
In late October, Khartoum blamed Israel for an apparent air strike on the Yarmouk Complex, a Sudanese military factory, in which two people were killed.
Israeli officials have neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the attack.
In the past, Israel has accused Sudan of serving as a conduit for arms shipments from Iran through Egypt to Hamas in Gaza. The attack on the Yarmouk Complex was believed to be connected to this suspicion.