Israel to issue armored cars to P.A.

Israel plans to issue at least 25 armored cars to the Palestinian Authority’s security forces.

Jerusalem officials on Wednesday announced the planned handover of Russian-made BRDM vehicles to police in Nablus, a West Bank city seen as a proving ground for P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas’ recent security drive. Media reports put the number of vehicles to be supplied at between 25 and 50.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wants to bolster Abbas’ standing among the Palestinians ahead of next week’s peace conference in Annapolis, Md. But according to Israeli security sources, the military brass were opposed to supplying Abbas’ forces with armored cars lest they end up being used by terrorists.

The BRDMs have mounted machine guns and four-man crews.

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