Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip are using heavy weaponry provided to the Palestinians by the Bush Administration to combat Israeli counter-terrorism operations.
Israeli military sources confirmed to Middle East Newsline that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Apache helicopter gun ships operating against Hamas rocket crews in Gaza have come under fire from US-made heavy machine guns.
The weapons were originally given to Fatah-dominated security forces loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas drove Abbas' forces from Gaza last June and took possession of a vast arsenal of weapons and equipment that had either been donated by the US and Western nations or bought with foreign financial aid.
In repeated assurances to Congress over the past two years, the Bush Administration insisted its security aid to Abbas was of a non-lethal nature.