Hamas ‘harshly condemns’ attack on Sudan arms factory

Hamas ‘harshly condemns’ attack on Sudan arms factory

Flurry of protests from Palestinian organization highlights suspicions that destroyed weapons were destined for Gaza

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Hamas on Thursday issued an unusual statement condemning an apparent air strike on a Sudanese arms factory, and the organization’s political leader called the Sudanese president to condemn the attack, highlighting suspicions that the arms destroyed were intended for the Palestinian Islamic movement.

“We harshly condemn this Zionist crime and this treacherous attack perpetrated by the enemy’s army,” read the statement on Hamas’s official website. “We completely identify and stand with the sister-state of Sudan… and appreciate its positions that support the Palestinian people and its legitimate rights.”

The statement was followed by a phone call from Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal to Sudanese president Omar Bashir. According to a Hamas-affiliated news agency, the Palestinian Information Center, Mashaal thanked Bashir and the Sudanese people for “supporting and aiding the Palestinian people, their legitimate rights and their just cause.”

It is still officially unknown who attacked the factory located in the capital Khartoum, but Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman told reporters on Wednesday that four airplanes using sophisticated technology had penetrated Sudan from the east. Government officials, including Bashir, later accused Israel.

The Sudanese government would not disclose the type of weapons manufactured at the Yarmouk plan, or who they were intended for. But sources in Israel claimed that Iran had built weapons factories in Sudan.

Earlier Thursday, Israeli Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad told Army Radio that Sudan was “a dangerous terror state,” but stopped short of acknowledging Israeli responsibility for the attack.

Sudan was attacked twice from the air in the past three years. In May 2011, a missile launched from an aircraft killed two men in a car in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan. In January 2009, some 120 men were reportedly killed when a convoy of trucks believed to be carrying weapons headed for the Gaza Strip was attacked from the air.

Israel has never admitted responsibility for the attacks.

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