Palestinian Authority security forces strongly denied on Thursday reports in the Israeli media that the PA is acquiring riot-control weaponry from Israeli firms.
A Palestinian Authority security spokesman, Adnan Ad-Dhamiry, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that the report in the Ha’aretz newspaper about the PA buying tear gas and rubber bullets from Israel amounts to incitement.
Ad-Dhamiri said such reports were designed to influence public opinion among the PA Arab population, Ma’an reported.
The Ha’aretz report on Thursday said Israel has authorized the PA to acquire anti-riot gear, including tear gas grenades and rubber bullets.
The report said that the PA had approached Israeli companies seeking to purchase such equipment, assuring the Israelis that they are doing everything they can to prevent PA Arabs from rioting and marching on Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, as part of the expected “celebrations” of the declaration of an Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
Ad-Dhamiry said the report was inaccurate, claiming that Europe has provided support to the PA but Israel refuses to allow the transfer of bulletproof vests, helmets and armored vehicles from Jordan, where they are currently located.
Meanwhile, the PA is going full force with its unilateral statehood bid. PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki announced Thursday that the entity plans to submit its bid for full UN membership with the Council on Friday, September 23.
The announcement ended speculation that Abbas would consider alternate plans forwarded by various diplomats who had frantically tried to dissuade the PA from pursuing a unilateral course via the UN.
Israel is also preparing for the statehood bid. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he will personally deliver Israel’s opening speech at the United Nations General Assembly when it convenes on September 20.
Netanyahu said that he would go to proclaim Israel’s truth to whomever was interested in hearing it. “The General Assembly is not a place where Israel usually gets a fair hearing, but I intend to tell the truth to those who wish to hear the truth,” Netanyahu said.