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Russia to deliver 25 armored vehicles to PA

Israel to let Russia deliver 25 armored cars to Palestinian security forces in West Bank, after Moscow agreed not to mount vehicles with guns, Defense Ministry spokesman says. Move meant to bolster Palestinian President Abbas

Israel has agreed to let Russia deliver 25 armored vehicles to Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Friday - a move meant to bolster moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his fierce struggle with Islamic Hamas militants.

 

Russia had proposed shipping the armored vehicles to Palestinian security forces two years ago, but Israel initially balked, fearing the cars would fall into Hamas' hands. 

 

Israel agreed in November to allow the Palestinians to

receive up to 50 lightly armored vehicles but a dispute emerged over a Palestinian demand that they have guns mounted on them.

 

After months of delay, Moscow agreed to Israeli conditions regarding the delivery of armored vehicles to Abbas' security forces.

 

Defense Ministry spokesman Ronen Moshe said the shipment of unarmed vehicles was authorized this week during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

 

Russia agreed to Israeli conditions regarding the delivery of armored vehicles to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's security forces, Israeli officials said on Friday.

 

"We have been hearing about these armed vehicles for more than a year," said a Palestinian security official. "Hopefully we will be able to receive the shipment."

 

Israel will allow the delivery of 25 additional armored vehicles once Abbas' forces expand their control in the West Bank, Israeli defense officials have said.

 

In June, forces loyal to Abbas lost control of Gaza after a five-day offensive by Hamas fighters, who captured large quantities of weapons and ammunition supplied by Israel, the US and others.

 

Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005 but still has a large military presence in the West Bank that indirectly helps Abbas' pro-Fatah forces maintain control there.

 

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

 


פרסום ראשון: 03.21.08, 22:32
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