by Joyeeta Basu (With reporting by Sunday Guardian Live)

NEW DELHI: The evidence of PRC green-signalling Hamas’ attack on Israel goes beyond the circumstantial.

Massive quantities of Chinese arms, ammunition, military grade communication and other intelligence gathering equipment were found in Hamas warehouses in Gaza during the raids conducted by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), in the aftermath of the 7 October 2023 attack on Israel by the Palestinian terrorist group. At least two tunnel engineers from China’s People’s Liberation Army were captured by the IDF, suggesting that extensive Chinese help was given to Hamas to construct the huge network of tunnels under Gaza city. Apart from this, PLA has been giving military training to the Hamas. In fact, the head of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, who masterminded the attack on Israel, lived in the PRC for years, and maintains deep contacts with the PLA and CCP. Allegedly, he even has two Chinese Muslim wives. This was disclosed by Guermantes “G-Man” Lailari, a retired US Air Force Foreign Area officer specializing in counterterrorism, irregular warfare and missile defence. Lailari says that it is time nations held PRC to account for the support it offers to various terrorist groups, including Hamas.

People’s Republic of China’s connection with the 7 October 2023 attack on Israel by the Hamas has been a matter of speculation. Lailari alleges that in spite of Chinese denials of any involvement with Hamas’ attacks, there is enough evidence to take China to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for its support to terrorism. He says that it is not Iran, but PRC that is the hidden hand that green-signalled Hamas’ attack on Israel, the evidence of which goes beyond the circumstantial.

Direct Chinese Connection

Lailari, who is currently based in Taiwan, where he is a visiting research fellow at the Institute for National Defence and Security Research (Division of Chinese Politics, Military and Warfighting Concepts), was in India last week and spoke in depth on China’s involvement in malign activities, specifically its connection with the Hamas. According to him, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) found in Gaza “in massive numbers” “Chinese weapons, intelligence gathering equipment, and other military supplies”. Hamas warehouses had the Chinese QBZ assault rifles and QLZ87 automatic grenade launchers, “telescopic sights for rifles and cartridges for M16s, high-end communications equipment, listening devices, tactical military radios, and sophisticated explosives”. The IDF also found Chinese rocket technology in a Hamas laboratory. Lailari says that it’s likely that the PRC took the Iran route to supply Hamas with the weapons, thus insulating itself from any charges of direct involvement.

Additionally, that both Chinese tunnel engineers found in one of Gaza’s tunnels belonged to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) gives reasons to suspect the PRC and the technical expertise that the PRC—the PLA in particular—provided in building the tunnels, says Lailari.

Lailari says that Mohammed Deif, who heads the Hamas’ military wing, was sent to the PRC in the 1990s, by the then PLO. Deif finished his studies in artillery and rocketry in the PLA General Armament Department’s Ordnance Engineering College in Hebei Province’s Shijiazhuang in 2000, and later joined the Hamas. While in China, it is believed that he married two Chinese Muslim women, “of Sarta or Dongxiang ethnicity”. Lailari’s sources have told him that it is through one of Deif’s Chinese wives that a direct channel of communication between Hamas and the Chinese leadership was opened.

CCP Geopolitical Games

Hamas was preparing for attacking Israel since at least 2020. Lailari says that Hamas carried out four military exercises with 10 other terrorist groups, to prepare for the 7 October 2023 attacks. Three of these exercises were conducted on 29 December 2020, 26 December 2021 and 28 December 2022. However, the fourth exercise was brought forward to 12 September 2023. Lailari wonders what made the Hamas bring forward the exercise. Was the attack planned for October 2023 to derail the probable normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia as part of the Abraham Accords? The announcement was all set to take place when the attack happened. Lailari says that the US-initiated truce would have brought the Saudis, who were perceived to be drifting towards the PRC, back in the US sphere of influence; it would have also brought two of the strongest powers of the region, Israel and Saudi Arabia—both US allies—on the same page, thus limiting PRC’s influence in West Asia. The announcement of the India-initiated India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEC), at the G20 New Delhi Summit on 9-10 September, too was not to PRC’s liking, as the IMEC is seen as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Lailari says, “China was desperate and wanted something to happen”. Post the 7 October 2023 attack and Israel’s response, both the Israel-Saudi accord and the IMEC have been postponed.


Hamas-PRC Meetings Continue

Lailari says that the PRC has always been soft towards Hamas and was in touch with the Hamas in the run-up to the 7 October attack. But it never allowed its antipathy towards Israel to be shown in public. In fact, prior to7 October, it heavily monitored and censored any trace of anti-Semitism on Chinese social media. But after 7 October 2023, it was as if the PRC had opened the floodgates of “Han supremacism and anti-Semitism”. Lailari also points out that the PRC “never mentions Hamas atrocities”. China never criticises the Hamas in public and post the attack, it continues to be in regular touch with the Hamas.

On 17 March 2024, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met PRC Ambassador to Qatar, Cao Xiaolin and Foreign Ministry envoy Wang Kejian in Qatar. After the meeting, Ambassador Cao stressed on “the close and historic relationship between the Palestinian and Chinese peoples and China’s firm positions towards the Palestinian issue and its standing by the just demands of the Palestinian people for freedom, independence, and statehood.”

Wang stated that Hamas was a “part of the Palestinian national fabric and China is keen on relations with it.”

On 1 March 2024, Palestinian factions met in Russia from 29 February through 1-2 March 2024: “The Russian side provided a venue for the meeting between delegates from factions within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), including the Fatah movement, as well as participants from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group. In all, envoys from more than 10 organizations have arrived in Moscow for the meeting.”

On 30 April 2024, the PRC Foreign Ministry announced that Hamas and Fatah diplomats held “in-depth and candid dialogue” to promote reconciliation. Hamas and Fatah agreed to continue the dialogue in June.

Three Wars Strategy

Lailari connects the Israel-Hamas war with the broader PRC strategy of bogging down the United States and its allies in “three major wars”, as expounded by a PLA strategic thinker, Long Kaifeng in four articles. The first of the articles was written in 2018 and the other three in April-June 2023. “According to Kaifeng’s April 2023 article: ‘On a global scale, three major battles are in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia respectively. The Ukrainian war represents the European front; the Middle Eastern battle will be a conflict between Israel and Palestine, and the Asian theatre might be the second Korean war’,” says Lailari. Two of these wars have already started—in Ukraine and in Israel-Gaza. The third war is yet to start.

Expose Chinese Link

Lailari says the time has come to expose Beijing’s support for Hamas. He says that all evidence in the US regarding PRC’s involvement in terrorism should be declassified and publicized. He also says that the countries whose citizens were either murdered—35 countries—or taken hostage—more than 40—by the Hamas should be encouraged to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague with such evidence to hold the PRC to account.