Al Jazeera World

Gaza, Hamas and the New Middle East

Exclusive video shows how Hamas is circumventing the blockade of Gaza to develop its military capability, at a time when new strategic alliances are forming in the Middle East.

The political sands are shifting in the Middle East. New alliances are being formed that until recently would have been unimaginable. But as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and, potentially, Sudan forge closer relationships with Israel, where does this leave the Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza? How is Hamas – the elected government of Gaza – and its paramilitary wing, the Qassam Brigades, adjusting to the new regional political climate? In this film, Al Jazeera Arabic’s Tamer Almisshal meets Hamas’s political leader Ismail Haniya and discovers dramatic and surprising military preparations that may seriously concern Israel and its allies.

Today, the Gaza Strip is blockaded by the two countries bordering Gaza, Israel and Egypt, but it somehow continues to obtain rocket technology, some of it homemade, some smuggled in. Tamer Almisshal has obtained video of rockets being manufactured in Gaza. Iran is cited as a likely supplier but the source of some of this weaponry is unexpected. While clearing damage from the 2014 Gaza War, the Qassam Brigades came across unexploded Israeli missiles and say they have repurposed them into a source of arms. Hamas explains how another arms supply was sourced by a specialist unit of Palestinian divers, who were tasked with searching the seabed for weaponry and who claim to have recovered projectiles from the hold of century-old sunken ships.