Sunday, May 13, 2012

Why Is Abbas Trying To Import Armaments From Russia?

I’m not aware of any shortage of guns and bullets in the West Bank
Unidentified Senior Israeli Official

Does anyone seriously think that the Palestinian Arabs have a shortage of guns?

Yet we are supposed to pity poor Mahmoud Abbas: West Bank Leader Says Security Forces Can’t Get Guns:

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said Saturday that his security forces were struggling because Israel had refused to allow them to import a shipment of weapons, and that he was “very, very, very afraid” of what might happen if one of the Palestinian prisoners on a long-term hunger strike died.

Mr. Abbas, meeting with a delegation from J Street, an American lobbying group that describes itself as “pro-Israel and pro-peace,” said 3,000 guns from Egypt and Russia sitting in Jordan had been previously authorized, but were now blocked from entering the Palestinian territories.

“If they help me to get weapons, I’m helping them because I’m promoting security,” Mr. Abbas said of the Israelis. “We want security to stop terrorism. We have a need for these legal weapons. I have complaints from the security apparatus: ‘We don’t have guns and bullets.’ ”
It's tough when Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which never tire of honoring terrorists and inciting hatred of Israel, cannot get enough guns and bullets.

More to the point--it appears that Abbas is not telling the truth.

According to a senior Israeli official, there does not appear to be any shortage of guns or bullets in the Palestinian territories, nor does the shipment from Russia consist of mere guns. Instead, it appears the Palestinian Authority is looking to get heavier armaments from Russia--part of a longstanding dispute between the Palestinian Authority and Israel over heavier weapons being brought into the area:
“From Russia we’re not talking about guns and bullets — we’re talking about weapons that are above and beyond,” he said. “There are some types of weapons that we see as a potential security threat, and we are not yet comfortable.”
Jonathan Tobin writes, Palestinians Short of Ideas, Not Guns, noting the absurdity of Abbas's claim:
However, the claim that any holdup in arms shipments is making it impossible for the PA to fulfill its commitments to keep the peace is absurd. As a senior Israeli source told the Times there is no shortage of guns or ammunition in the West Bank. The various PA security forces are all armed to the teeth. The material Abbas wants to import from Russia and Egypt is not police equipment but armaments that would transform the PA’s forces into the sort of army the Oslo peace accords specifically forbid. Moreover, since the PA is making an alliance with the radical Islamists of Hamas rather than fighting them, what possible purpose would Abbas have for heavy weapons?
Does anyone seriously think that Abbas is capable of controlling the use of the kinds of heavier arms that he wants to get from Russia.

Back in 2005, before he was unceremoniously kicked out of Gaza by Hamas, Abbas was unable to control the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel and refused to even try:
Abbas is barely on speaking terms with some security officials, and when he succeeds in issuing an order it is not implemented, they said.

Abbas even said that the Qassam rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel are "Israel's problem" and that he does not intend to interfere. "Let the Israelis deal with it," he said.
Obama can go ahead if he likes and treat Abbas as if were a reliable leader--Israel cannot afford that luxury.

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