Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
PA Police in Jenin. July 12, 2023.

(JNS) Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday denied reports that the current government approved a U.S. transfer of weapons and armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority.

Army Radio on Wednesday published new details about the reported military transfer, citing Palestinian security officials who said that it had included 1,500 rifles, including M-16 rifles and Kalashnikovs. The transfer also reportedly included around 10 armored vehicles.


“Contrary to the misrepresentation emerging from the various reports, since I assumed the position of minister of defense, I have neither approved nor has there been a transfer of weapons or deadly military equipment to the Palestinian Authority. Any attempt to present things in a different way is a blatant lie,” tweeted Gallant.

Palestinian Authority security officials said that they had requested the weapons and military equipment over a year ago but were denied. The approval was reportedly received after the Israeli-Palestinian security summits in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh earlier this year under the sponsorship of the United States, Egypt and Jordan.

The approval reportedly took place after a dialogue with Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

For its part, COGAT denied the reports on Wednesday morning, saying that “no weapons were transferred to the Palestinian Authority during the past year.” However, it did not mention armored vehicles in the denial.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video message posted to social media on Wednesday called the reports “fake news” and clarified that since his government was sworn in “it has not transferred a single weapon to the Palestinian Authority” while also admitting that his government implemented a decision made by the previous government to transfer armored vehicles to the P.A.

“What we did do was implement a decision made by Defense Minister Benny Gantz (in the Bennett-Lapid government) on Jan. 22 to transfer a number of armored vehicles that have become obsolete.

“That’s what we did. Not armor. Not tanks. Not Kalashnikovs. Not anything. So sometimes the fake news is not protected and it’s good that we puncture this lie.”

The weapons and vehicles were reportedly transferred in recent days from U.S. bases in Jordan via the Allenby Crossing with full Israeli approval.


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