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Barak Secretly Okayed Transfer of 1,000 Rifles to Help PA

Olmert promised Abbas 1,000 rifles and tens of thousands of bullets. Barak arranged for a secret transfer of the weapons from Jordan last week.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/5/2008, 8:04 AM

Defense Minister Ehud Barak arranged for a secret transfer of 1,000 Kalashnikov rifles and tens of thousands of
Similar cooperation in the 1990s... ended up with PA soldiers using the weapons to attack Israelis.
bullets from Jordan to the Palestinian Authority (PA) through the Allenby Bridge crossing last week, according to the Hebrew daily Ma'ariv. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had promised the arms to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas when they met last week.

"We cannot demand that they fight terror, riots and terrorist groups without giving them the power to do so," sources told the newspaper. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) director Yuval Diskin did not object. However, military commanders in the field objected, recalling similar cooperation in the 1990s that ended up with PA soldiers using the weapons to attack Israelis.

The Defense Minister also approved approximately 20 new PA police stations to be established in Judea and Samaria because of reports that the PA is improving its operations and is coordinating with Israel to wipe out Hamas money laundering offices.

The government considers the transfer of weapons a move to bolster the administration of Abbas and his prime minister, Salam Fayyad.

Earlier this year, PA policemen attacked Israel several times with newly acquired weapons that were transferred with the encouragement of the government.