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A recurring narrative/allegation in debates about the current Hamas/Israel conflict is that Hamas has dug up EU steel pipes and turned them into Qassam rockets. The main sources for this appear to be this Telegraph article: EU funded water pipelines despite Hamas boast it could turn them into rockets which explicitly mentions that

The European Union helped to build more than 30 miles of water pipelines for Palestinians despite Hamas terrorists boasting of their ability to forge an arsenal of home-made rockets from pipes. [...]

In 2021 footage emerged of Hamas terrorists excavating pipes from the desert that were eventually fashioned into home-made rockets. [...]

Their main armament has been the Qassam rocket, assembled from industrial piping, makeshift rocket fuel of sugar and potassium nitrate fertiliser and commercially available explosives. [...]

While the Telegraph cannot independently verify the exact weapons used in the mass bombardment, it has raised fears over whether Western-donated building supplies could have been used to manufacture some of the munitions.

The rest of the article mostly details the EU-funded pipeline projects mentioned in the first paragraph, but it doesn't talk about whether Hamas specifically appropriated some of those. Also, it's not clear whether the title had been corrected for later on-line purposes. Press-reader has a different, more accusatory headline:

EU funded water pipelines that terrorists turned into rockets.

screenshot of the headline above

The DC-based National Pulse likewise titled their story

EU Spent $100M On Pipelines That Hamas Turned Into Rockets.

The Jewish Chronicle writes:

Hamas boasts that it uses EU-funded water pipes to convert into missiles.

Ibid for the Gateway Pundit:

Hamas Terrorist Group Turns EU-Funded Gaza Water Pipelines Into Missiles Used to Attack Israel. [...]

Hamas militants are seen extracting EU-funded water pipelines from the ground and then converting them into rocket components.

And there's the following Tweet and video posted by Lt. Col. (R) Peter Lerner showing a Hamas video digging up pipes and turning them into rockets. However, the accompanying tweet only says

People keep asking me where #Hamas have so many rockets from. Here’s the answer in a video they distributed. The world has invested so much for the people of #Gaza. Their leaders just don’t care.

So, clearly Hamas has dug up some pipes. But that tweet doesn't claim/explain what the [funding] source of the pipes is, other than vaguely referring to "the world".

This allegation has even come up on this site: Does Hamas divert humanitarian aid donations towards the military budget? where it is one of the claims in the only current answer.

  1. Has the EU provided industrial piping and/or metal piping as shown in the video to Gaza
  2. Is there evidence that Hamas has dug up EU-funded industrial piping and fashioned it into Qassam missiles?
  3. Have missiles fashioned out of EU-funded water pipes been fired at Israeli targets?
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    @WeatherVane I genuinely don't have a point, I am attempting to get clarity on a very specific claim that I keep seeing bandied about and am having trouble verifying.
    – Daniel B
    Nov 8, 2023 at 20:34
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    To me, it is one claim, because that is the specific claim that I keep seeing bandied about. The claim has three components: that there were western-funded pipes, that were dug up by hamas, turned into missiles, and fired at Israel. Verifying the claim requires all three components to be proven. What does western funding supporting Israel have to do with that? If you feel very strongly that there are two claims here, I am willing to break this up into two questions, but I'm unclear what the benefit of that would be. Also, let's move this discussion to chat.
    – Daniel B
    Nov 8, 2023 at 20:45
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    That's not my post...? I'm just linking to it as an example of this claim being used in online spaces.
    – Daniel B
    Nov 8, 2023 at 20:47
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    Please restrict your question to one claim. Either that Hamas is digging up pipes to fashion rockets/missiles, or that Hamas is diverting humanitarian funding, or that the west is specifically providing funding. Right now the question is "loaded". Nov 8, 2023 at 20:48
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Daniel B
    Nov 8, 2023 at 20:50

1 Answer 1

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According to an Al Jazeera documentary the water pipes for rockets are dug up from abandoned Israeli settlements:

Narrator: "The reclamation of the unexploded Israeli shells was not an easy task. There were several martyrs in this complicated production project. One of the pioneers and supervisors of this project, Ibrahim Abu Al-Naja, was one of the most prominent martyrs. While the plan to reuse the explosives in the Israeli shells was moving ahead, long water pipelines were found buried in the areas of the settlements from which Israel withdrew in 2005.

"This discovery turned out to be a qualitative leap. These pipes, which stretched from the liberated settlements in the west across the Israeli border to the east, had been hidden from the eye. For years, they served Israel in its theft of Palestinian water."

Abu Ibrahim, Commander from the Military Production Unit of the Al-Qassam Brigades: "In the belly of the Earth, we found large quantities of thick metal pipes. It was part of a network that had been used to steal Gaza's groundwater and pump it into the occupied lands. We discovered the plans for that network, and then we dug into the ground and pulled out the pipes, so that they could be used in our military industries."

Narrator: "In this documentary, we obtained exclusive footage from one of the workshops producing the long range Qassam missiles. These missiles have made distinct developments in their range, precision, and destructive power. These images show modern missiles being produced by recycling the unexploded Israeli shells, as well as the explosives they contained and the water pipes that were found."

[…]

Abu Ibrahim: "As a result of the ceaseless search efforts at land and at sea, we have accumulated hundreds of munitions and warheads, and dozens of tons of explosives and propellants. We have enough pipes to produce thousands of rocket engines."

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    gaza has groundwater? till now it seems they're completely dependent on israeli water supply and the israelis closing it after 7 oct created severe shortage timesofisrael.com/… theres also some desalination plants but not clear in what condition Nov 9, 2023 at 5:04
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    Is the Commander of the Military Production Unit of the Al-Qassam Brigades a reliable source?
    – gerrit
    Nov 9, 2023 at 8:37
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    @Angriffsreiher They have groundwater, but barely any infrastructure to recover it as drinking water.
    – user69474
    Nov 9, 2023 at 9:10
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    This isn't answering the question though. First, you seem to be implying that because the pipes were used in Israeli settlements, they were therefore not funded by the EU, which seems likely, but is still only an assumption. Next, assuming these pipes were not EU funded, just because Hamas used some non-EU funded pipes doesn't mean they didn't also use EU ones. So one way or another, this isn't answering the question.
    – terdon
    Nov 9, 2023 at 13:04
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    @Rekesoft If the guy proclaims to the world that he digs up pipes provided by the international community for civilian water delivery to repurpose them to launch rockets into their neighbor's lands then they should expect there to be less future assistance and support. Further, I didn't watch the documentary but at least in the snippet here, I don't see a rebuttal that they also take the pipes intended for civilian drinking water. Nov 9, 2023 at 14:38

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