Chinese weapons with the Qassam Brigades facing Israel

It was noteworthy that a heavy-caliber Chinese rifle appeared in the possession of snipers of the Al-Qassam Brigades, which raised questions about how they obtained it.

It was noteworthy that a heavy-caliber Chinese rifle appeared in the possession of snipers of the Al-Qassam Brigades – the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) – in the Gaza Strip, which raised questions about how they obtained it, and also sparked reactions from tweeters about its effectiveness and potential. The Qassam Brigades sniper in the Gaza war used a “Chinese M99 Zhejiang rifle”. We can notify that after the Gaza War on October 7, 2023, Immediately many Chinese analysts and tweeters were active in republishing many of the military advice of the great Chinese military leader “Sun Tzu”, the most prominent of which was: “When we are able to attack, we must appear unable,  When we use our forces, we must appear inactive. When we are close, we must make the enemy believe that we are far away. When we are close, we must make the enemy believe that we are far away. When we are far, we must make him believe that we are close.

 The observation worth analyzing in this context is that, coinciding with the “Qassam Brigades” announcement of the use of Chinese weapons in its war against Israel, Israeli media published that the leadership of the Israeli occupation army provided the political level with information about the use of “Al-Qassam” lethal standard Chinese weapons that may  The course of the war changed over the coming days. The (Israeli Channel 12) said that the Israeli occupation army had seized quantities of Chinese weapons in the Gaza Strip, according to its claim. The Hebrew Channel 12 also reported that questions are circulating in the Israeli security and intelligence corridors about “how these weapons arrived from China to the Gaza Strip” and reached Hamas.

   Perhaps here we can explain the significance of the reproduction and dissemination of Sun Tzu’s sayings in China immediately after the Gaza War, following the release of many analyzes of the type of weapons used by the Hamas movement, and those used by Israel in response to the attack, and their impact on the future conflict between the two parties. Especially after many questions were raised about how the Hamas movement obtained weapons, developed them in this way, and trained on them, despite the fact that it is besieged in an area of ​​350 square kilometers, in addition to being under strict Israeli surveillance and a sea, air, and land blockade. We can notice as well that during its war against Israel after the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation on October 7, 2023, the “Al-Qassam Brigades” announced that its fighters were able to snipe an Israeli soldier with a heavy-caliber “M99” sniper weapon in the “Sheikh Ajlin area” in Gaza City. This is the first announcement from the Al-Qassam Brigades about the use of this deadly Chinese weapon in the Gaza Strip. Also among the evidence that Hamas possesses this Chinese weapon is what the “China in Arabic Website” account published on the “X” website, of a picture of a Palestinian faction fighter, holding an “M99 rifle” in his hand, indicating that it may have been re-exported via Iran.

  We find that the capabilities of this Chinese rifle with the Hamas movement are very great, the most notable of which is that after firing its bullet, it gives the sniper a few seconds to move and move away enough to maneuver. According to the military website “Gun Wiki”, the Chinese weapon “M99” was developed in response to a request from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. It is an advanced Chinese anti-materiel weapon with heavy caliber bullets of 12.7 x 108 mm.

 These analyzes came on the occasion of the report broadcast by (Israeli Channel 12), in which it was claimed that the Israeli occupation army found Chinese weapons in Gaza, indicating that questions are circulating within the Israeli security corridors, about how these weapons arrived from China to the Gaza Strip?  The Israeli allegations came after the Al-Qassam Brigades announced yesterday, Saturday, that its fighters were able to snipe an Israeli soldier with a heavy-caliber M99 sniper weapon in the Sheikh Ajlin area of ​​Gaza City. Many videos were seen of the Al-Qassam Brigades using a Chinese M99 rifle, which is a 12.7 mm anti-materiel rifle. Its length is one and a half meters, and it weighs 12 kilograms. Its magazine can hold five rounds, and its range reaches 1,700 metres within two seconds.  The China Arabic account published on the “it was re-exported via Iran”.

 Hamas obtained quantities of it from several different sources, along with thousands of Russian, Chinese, and even North Korean assault rifles, whether from Syria, Iraq, or Libya. The weapons flowed into Gaza after the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya through smuggling networks, according to previous press reports.

 Hamas has also used Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles, and laser-guided missiles have proven effective against Israeli Merkava tanks, as well as an anti-tank missile system called the “BULSAE”, which is so effective in confronting Israeli vehicles and armored vehicles

   On the other hand, some political and military circles in Israel considered that the discovery of Chinese weapons among the Palestinian factions means that the axis of evil against Israel has now included (Hamas, Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia), in reference to the countries that took an opposing position against the Israeli aggression.  On the Gaza Strip.  Israeli military officials analyzed the significance of the presence of weapons in Gaza, suggesting that they either belong to states or independent Chinese actors that illegally sell weapons to groups stationed in Gaza.  Stating that Israel must verify the matter with the official Chinese authorities. However, although it is certainly possible that Chinese weapons reached the hands of Palestinian movements, they were not purchased directly from Beijing.

  According to my belief, the Israeli allegations of finding Chinese weapons in Gaza are aimed at pressuring Beijing to abandon its position against the continuation of the aggression against Gaza.  Especially after the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent an official document addressed to the UN Security Council, in which it sent a clear message confirming its rejection of the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population.  Israeli high-tech factories are also currently facing many difficulties in importing many components from China, according to officials and industrialists in the Israeli occupation entity, according to a report published in the Israeli newspaper “Yediot Ahronoth”.  According to Israeli officials, there may be unannounced sanctions from China, and there is clearly a connection to the war.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit