Photo: Reuters
Arms deal with Hamas? Russian army parade
Photo: Reuters
Khaled Mashaal
Photo: Reuters

Russia to consider selling helicopters to PA

Chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky Russian government may sign arms deal with Hamas during scheduled visit by terror group’s leaders to Moscow in March; Palestinians express their willingness to purchase two M-17 helicopters, some 50 armored vehicles

The Russian government may sign an arms deal with Hamas during a scheduled visit by the terror group’s leaders to Moscow, according to Chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky.


The Hamas delegation, headed by Khaled Mashaal, is set to visit Russia sometime next month.


“The decision to sell arms to Hamas must be reached through the cooperation of both sides,” the general said.


“We will have to wait and see what the meetings in Russia will produce.”


Baluyevsky added that Russia is considering selling Hamas, among other things, of “two unarmed helicopters that would be used for transporting Palestinian leaders, in addition to armed vehicles to help preserve stability.”


The Palestinians have expressed their willingness to purchase two M-17 helicopters and some 50 armored vehicles. However, the Palestinians will not be able to receive the equipment without Israeli consent.


'We welcome the visit of a delegation of our brothers'


In a move that stirred Israeli ire, Russia extended to Hamas leaders on Thursday an official invitation to visit Moscow at the beginning of March.


On Wednesday Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the invitation to Hamas is a realistic way to foster future peacemaking after the Islamic terrorists won the Palestinian elections.


Jordan, which has moderated its stance towards Palestinian terror group Hamas since its election win, said on Wednesday it invited Hamas leaders to make their first visit since the kingdom expelled them in 1999.


The visit to the pro-U.S. country would be part of a regional tour by Hamas to garner financial and political support in the face of Western threats to cut Palestinian aid.


“We welcome the visit of a delegation of our brothers the leaders of Hamas in their capacity as Palestinians,” Prime Minister Marouf Bakheet told a parliamentary session.


Hamas has begun declaring a series of appointments ahead of taking the reigns of the Palestinian Authority, such as the nomination of Dr. Abdel Aziz Duaik to the position of Palestinian parliament chairman.


According to Palestinian law, the chairman of the parliament would replace the PA chairman in case the latter dies, falls ill, or resigns.


פרסום ראשון: 02.16.06, 22:06
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