The US did not send any weapons or armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority (PA) with Israel’s approval, the Israeli defense establishment said on Wednesday.
The statement came after reports claimed that the US had transferred about 1,500 rifles and some armored vehicles from its bases in Jordan to the PA through the Allenby crossing.
The reports also said that Israel had agreed to the transfer on the condition that the weapons be used only by the PA’s general security, counterintelligence, and police forces for anti-terrorist group operations. However, the defense establishment denied these reports and said they were false.
According to the sources, the move is part of steps by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a unity government with former defense minister Benny Gantz. Smotrich is set to hold an urgent consultation later on Wednesday.
A spokesperson from the Palestinian Authority security mechanisms, Talal Duikat, stated “There’s no truth in what is reported by some of the media and the press that the Palestinian Authority received weapons and equipment through Israel. The Authority has the right to receive all the equipment necessary to carry out its work.”
COGAT denied the reports of a weapons transfer on Wednesday morning, stating that “no weapons were transferred to the Palestinian Authority during the past year.”
The Defense Ministry called the reports a “misrepresentation,” stating “Since Defense Minister Yoav Gallant took office, the transfer of lethal weapons to the Palestinian Authority has not been approved. Any attempt to present things in a different way is false and a diversion from the truth.”
COGAT and the Defense Ministry did not deny the reports that armored vehicles were transferred to the PA. A defense source said on Wednesday that nine armored vehicles were transferred, calling the transfer “a clear security interest for Israel.”