A Grad Missile Team from Tripoli Improves the Aim of Palestinian Islamic Jihad
Intervention is all the rage in the Middle East since the Arab Spring sprang on the region.
On Monday, Oct. 31, NATO Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen insisted stiffly during a visit to Libya: "NATO has no intention (to intervene) whatsoever," when asked if the alliance planned to go into Syria.
His hosts of the Libyan National Transition Council (NTC), former rebels turned interim government, have ideas of their own about intervention, judging by the arrival in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip last week of a Libyan missile unit, first revealed here by DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources.
The unit consisted of 50 mercenaries from the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood members of Tripoli. They all went straight into battle, helping the Palestinian Jihad Islami shoot dozens of missiles into Israel from Saturday, Oct. 29 up until Tuesday.
They also delivered new weapons, arriving at the wheels of small minivans with mounted Grad multiple rocket launchers, just like the ones the Libyan rebels used on the battlefield in the last six months of the war, and seen for the first time in the Hamas-ruled enclave.
They did not bother to paint over the Libyan national colors or replace the trucks' Libyan license plates.
Jihad Islami fighters kept the Libyans sequestered from any parties trying to find out who sent them to the Gaza Strip.
Our military sources report that weapons were supplied to Libya's assorted rebel militias by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, their accurate fire against designated targets intended to counter the precision of the Libyan army's artillery.
A team of Muslim mercenaries arrives in Gaza with multiple rocket launchers
According to Gazan sources, the mercenaries left Tripoli on October 10 aboard two buses which drove them via Benghazi to Tobruk from which they entered Egypt as tourists.
On Oct. 21, the day Muammar Qaddafi was killed, they crossed the Suez Canal into the Sinai Peninsula.
The minivans mounted with Grad multiple rocket launchers had been moved out of Libya by a separate route and were waiting in the care of Bedouin smugglers beside a wadi in Sinai near the old copper mines of Ras Sudar.
They looked quite new with no sign of having been through a battlefield. The convoy had traveled some 2,000 kilometers through Egypt, posing the question of how it had been able to travel down Egyptian roads without arousing the notice of local security services. Indeed more such convoys are reportedly on their way through Egypt to the Gaza Strip.
Western sources suggest that the Egyptian Islamic Brotherhood arranged for the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood merecenaries to travel to Gaza under its protection.
Furthermore large sums of money would have been available to smooth their passage and that of the new Grads.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence sources report that Hamas and Hizballah have maintained arms purchasing missions in Benghazi and Tripoli since the uprising erupted, buying hardware from rebel militias for hard cash.
In post-Qaddafi's Libya, local arms dealers have established a thriving weapons market in the western town of Al-Zintan. There, the going rate for a Russian automatic gun is about the equivalent of $180, pistols of all kinds sell for roughly $435 and a 23mm-calibre anti-aircraft gun with a range of more than 4 kilometers for up to $7,250. For transporting the weapons into another country, like the Gaza Strip, the Libyan seller charges double or triple the price.