Presidentgarden til president Mahmoud Abbas har mottatt 2.000 AK-47 maskinpistoler med ammunisjon i gave fra arabiske land, og med Israel og USAs støtte. Abbas’ menn har lenge klaget over å være underlegne i våpen.
Våpenleveransen er svært sensitiv, og Abbas’ kontor ville ikke bekrefte. Men det gjorde det israelske forsvarsdepartementet utpå dagen torsdag. Avtalen skal ha vært inngått da Ehud Olmert og Abbas møttes sist lørdag. Leveransene skal komme fra arabiske land, men hvem som betaler er en annen sak. Utenriksminister Condoleezza Rice lovte for et par uker siden å styrke våpenarsenalet til Abbas med flere millioner dollar.
Egypt transfered a large quantity of arms and ammunition to PA security organizations in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, with Israel’s approval.
The Palestinian security forces are largely allied with Abbas, and draw their numbers from his Fatah movement.
The move was carried out in an effort to bolster Fatah affiliated groups, following recent clashes with paramilitary organizations belonging to the ruling Hamas movement.
Saeb Erekat, a spokesman for Abbas, declined comment, as did Olmert spokeswoman Miri Eisin and the Israeli Defense Ministry. Egyptian officials were not immediately available for comment.
Salim Abu Sufiya, head of the Palestinian border control, on Thursday refused to confirm or deny the report.
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh on Thursday denied that the transfer had occurred. «The talk about the president’s security services receiving
arms is unfounded and not true at all,» he said.
However, a decision on the matter had apparently been made in a Saturday meeting between Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The shipment included 2,000 AK-47 rifles, 20,000 magazines and two million rounds of ammunition. The arms and ammunition were transfered from Egypt to Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing, in coordination with the Israel Defense Forces and with the government’s authorization.
The four trucks carrying the weapons were accompanied by IDF Military Police to the Karni crossing, where they entered the Gaza Strip and were received by PA security personnel.