There are no words. When, in the history of the world, did a country arm it's avowed enemy bent on its destruction. I am ................ at a loss. Over at Mere Rhetoric (hat tip sniper)
All those new PA troops deployed in Nablus - at least those who haven't defected yet to Hamas or AQ or the Fatah "offshot" groups that murder Israeli civilians - are getting even more high tech weaponry:
DEBKA reports that it's going to be the APCs are going to be BTR-80s, pictured above. Their specialty? Protecting troops from just about anything but a direct missile hit while they take potshots at helicopters (more info here). A few of these on the ground would totally transform the dynamic of a battle. 25 of them are enough to protect all of the PA's forces in Nablus plus some.
Israel has approved the supply of 25 armoured vehicles to Palestinian security forces in the West Bank ahead of the proposed Middle East peace conference, senior officials said Wednesday. 'As part of a policy of supporting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and strengthening the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) security forces, Israel has allowed them to purchase 25 armoured vehicles for deployment in the West Bank city of Nablus,' a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said without specifying a timeframe for the supplies. The decision comes despite concerns among Israeli security services that Islamist group Hamas may eventually get hold of the military supply, as they did in June by taking control of the Gaza Strip from the rival Fatah movement, controlled by Abbas.
Israeli intelligence is wall to wall that Abbas is going to get rolled as soon as Hamas gets around to it. Hamas leaders are now allowing themselves to openly boast that they're going to overrun the West Bank as soon as Israel makes any concessions (this is not an anti-Annapolis tactic: their approach to that has been the exact opposite). Until then, only the Fatah soldiers who double as terrorists and the ones who openly defect to AQ will get to use these against Israeli troops (h/t: BtB)
Following a slight delay in delivery and despite opposition from within the IDF, Israel will facilitate the transfer of 25 armored personnel carriers next week to Palestinian Authority security forces in Nablus, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved the shipment two weeks ago over the objection of his own security forces, which then held up the transfer of the Russian-made armored vehicles after the Palestinians demanded that they be fitted with mounted machine guns.
Olmert's decision to allow the transfer was made in line with the Israeli policy of strengthening PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his security forces in the face of Hamas attempts to take over the West Bank like it took control of the Gaza Strip in June.
Defense officials said Thursday that the armored vehicles will be transferred early next week. The vehicles will be transferred into the West Bank via Jordan. They will be deployed in Nablus, where they will be used by the Palestinian police. Defense officials said that while the Palestinians backed down from their demand to have machine guns installed on the vehicles, it was still possible that they would do so unilaterally once the transfer was completed.