Sudan is critical, agrees Michael Ross. “This is where the parts for Iranian weapons are assembled. The guys in Gaza aren’t too swift in putting together complicated systems like the Fajr-5. Some assembly may be required when it hits Gaza, but the more complicated, high-tech aspects of the weapons systems are assembled in Sudan by Iranians, who have a large presence in Khartoum, at places like the al-Yarmouk factory.”…

Sudanese smugglers, mostly from the Rashaida tribe, transport the weapons from Port Sudan in trucks across the Nubian Desert to the Egyptian border, all the way through Egypt’s Eastern Desert along the Red Sea, and through the Suez Canal deep into the Sinai Peninsula. “The easiest way to cut off Hamas’s weapons supply,” says Ross, “would be to shut down the shipments coming out of Sudan, at the source, rather than in Sinai. The routes are limited, and this could easily be accomplished if the Egyptian military made an effort. But the army has always been the problem. While Mubarak was president, it was the intelligence service under Omar Suleiman that stopped shipments, kept radical elements at bay, and cooperated very closely with Israel. The military looks the other way and just doesn’t care.”

In fact, since the August jihadist attack in the Sinai that killed 16 Egyptian border guards, the army has been more vigilant, recognizing that its own security, and not merely Israel’s, is at stake.