by: Kate Norman
Thursday, 14 September 2023 | Top Israeli organizations denied recent reports that Jerusalem’s government approved a shipment of weapons and armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority (PA) from the United States.
The PA security services received the shipment via Jordan to use for “enforcing law and order,” Jerusalem-based daily Arabic news site Al-Quds reported on Monday, citing “well-informed Palestinian sources.”
The shipment of armored vehicles and weapons to PA security forces was to strengthen the PA, which coordinates with Israel on certain matters, including security matters. For example, the PA has conducted arrests of terrorists from the Hamas terrorist group as well as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
While the PA still maintains a grip on Ramallah, its de facto capital, the Authority is losing its authority in Jenin and Nablus, both havens for terrorists from different groups.
Jenin has become a hornet’s nest for terrorists over the past year or so, with so many terrorists hailing from the northern Samarian city and its surrounding areas that the Israeli military in July launched a two-day operation with air and over 1,000 ground forces to wipe out weapons production and storage sites.
Following the operation, the Israeli military largely withdrew from the Jenin area, with a few exceptions, preferring instead to let the PA attempt to reassert its authority over the area.
In fact, the weapons and armored vehicles shipment to the PA security forces could be used for raids against armed cells, according to the Al-Quds report.
Israel’s top brass, however, are denying the report.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did acknowledge that there was a transfer of armored vehicles, Israeli media reported, but denied that there was an arms transfer.
“There is no limit to the fake news, so these are the facts,” the prime minister said, as quoted by the Times of Israel. “Since this government was formed we have not given a single weapon to the Palestinian Authority.”
The Israeli government allowed a shipment of updated armored vehicles to the PA to honor an agreement made by the previous government—when former Defense Minister Benny Gantz was serving as prime minister—with Washington in January 2022.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also denied the report in a statement by his ministry.
“Contrary to various false reports, there have been no transfers of arms or deadly weapons to the Palestinian Authority since Defense Minister Gallant took office,” the statement said, as quoted by the Times of Israel. “Any attempt to portray things differently is a lie.”
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT)—the defense ministry unit that coordinates between the Israeli government, military and civilians—also issued a statement denying the transfer.
“There is no truth to the various reports on the issue,” COGAT stated. “We clarify that no guns were transferred to the Palestinian Authority in the last year.”
Posted on September 14, 2023
Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 14, 2023)
Photo Credit: David Azagury US Embassy Jerusalem/wikimedia.org
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