BRDM2 armored vehicle, in PA hands since 1996
BRDM2 armored vehicle, in PA hands since 1996 iStock

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan attacked the defense establishment decision to approve the transfer of armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority by the European Union.

The vehicles, which were transferred to the Palestinian Authority security services as a gift from the EU, were reportedly sent to Judea and Samaria through Jordan.

Dagan said the armored vehicles transfer is "total abandonment of human life and taking an unacceptable risk both of the lives of IDF soldiers and of the lives of the residents of Judea and Samaria."

"Any reasonable person understands that the supply of armored vehicles with machine guns for terrorists in uniform is a decision that could cost a lot of blood," Dagan says. "Many terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, in which Jewish soldiers and civilians were murdered, were carried out by or with the help of Fatah soldiers or policemen of the Palestinian Authority, Ido Zoldan, Rabbi Meir Hai, Ben Yosef Livnat, Eviatar Borovsky, and many others were murdered by Palestinian policemen or by the Palestinian GSS," he said.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan Flash 90

"It's amazing that those people who participated in the 'Don't give them guns' demonstrations during the Oslo days are now giving them armored cars. I've called on those who made this unfortunate decision to regain their wits. They also give the enemy armored cars. Unbelievable," said Dagan.

The last time PA armored vehicles aroused controversy was in 2000 when a paper published by the Ariel Center for Policy Research identified the PA armored threat to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, saying "Because the IDF limits yishuv self defense to small arms, the growing armor vehicle capability of the PA would render the assault troops it carries invulnerable to yishuv defenders. The IDF gate guards do not have anything to stop these vehicles. The standard sliding gates for all yishuvim would buckle under the impact of such armored vehicles, and many yishuvim lack even this 'obstacle' – such that the only thing separating between the attacker and the yishuv is a moving aluminum arm painted red and white."

The report went on to say that "The PA armored vehicle force is not capable of challenging the IDF, but would be unstoppable in a first strike on yishuvim. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that that is their purpose.

"Although it is possible to gain sudden entry into yishuvim by using commandos or even less prepared troops - as the examples of Ariel and Ofra show - armored vehicles provide a rapid capability to do so that ground troops cannot match." The report can be seen in the original Hebrew here.

At that time, the IDF justified PA armored vehicles according to Oslo saying Arafat needed them to protect his government from Arab extremist elements, while at the same time trying to deny their existence.