MOSCOW (JTA) – Russia will deliver 50 armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority, the Russian foreign minister said.
Israel protested a previous deal in 2005 to provide the vehicles to the Palestinian Authority over fears that the vehicles could fall into Hamas hands. In March 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to a shipment of 25 armored vehicles to the Palestinian leadership for the purpose of maintaining order.
The vehicles will be stripped of all weapons before being given free, according to a Russian defense official quoted by the RIA-Novosti news agency. He said the vehicles would be drawn from Russian reserves that are sitting in warehouses.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov divulged the deal to reporters aboard a flight from Spain to Egypt, where he met with other members of the diplomatic Quartet guiding the Middle East peace process — the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.