Israel won't keep Egypt, Jordan from arming PA

May 31, 2006 21:23

Israel doesn't intend to keep Egypt and Jordan from transferring weapons to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's presidential guard because he appointed leading fugitive Mahmoud Damra to head it, a senior official in the Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday. The official said, however, that Israel would not hesitate to arrest Damra if he tried to enter Israel. Asked how Israel could turn a blind eye to the transfer of weapons to a security force headed by someone Israel believes was actively involved in terrorist actions, the official said the weapons were not for Damra, but rather for what was hoped would be a "quick action" force of some 10,000 that would protect Abbas and do his bidding. The official stressed that Israel was not providing the arms - rifles, pistols and ammunition - but rather was letting Egypt and Jordan supply them. The deal, the official said, has been in the works for months.

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