Maan News Agency | Sept 15, 2011
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security forces have strongly denied reports in the Israeli media which suggest the PA is acquiring riot-control weaponry from Israeli firms, a spokesman said.
Palestinian security spokesman Adnan Ad-Dhamiry said claims made in the Israeli media about the PA buying tear gas and rubber bullets in the run up to the UN bid amount to incitement.
Ad-Dhamiri denied the allegations and said the reports were designed to influence Palestinian public opinion.
Israeli daily Haaretz reported Thursday that the PA had approached Israeli firms to buy riot control gear and was “working furiously” to acquire the equipment.
Israel gave approval to the PA to equip its security forces, Haaretz reported, noting that the Palestinians are having difficulty in accessing security equipment because “time is so short.”
Ad-Dhamiry said the report was inaccurate and said that Europe has provided support to the Palestinians but Israel refuses to allow the transfer of bulletproof vests, helmets and armored vehicles from Jordan, where they are currently located.
Israel is wary of large-scale protests by Palestinians as their leaders sidestep stalled peace talks by appealing for United Nations statehood recognition this month.
In May and June, pro-Palestinian marchers throwing stones swarmed Israel’s fortified boundary fences from Lebanon and Syria in two separate protests.
Israeli soldiers opened fire, killing 13 people on the Lebanese side and an unconfirmed number, which Syria puts at 23 although Israel disputes this, on the Syrian side.