Allies on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were seething after news emerged on Wednesday that a recent US shipment of rifles and armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority received approval from the Zionist entity’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
Israeli Army Radio reported that the COGAT approved the shipment which includes over 1,500 rifles and armored vehicles to the PA’s security forces.
The report comes as sources within the finance ministry revealed that Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, whose ministry oversees the COGAT, was kept in the dark about the approval.
Reports from the Religious Zionist Party said its leader (Smotrich) was “seething”.
Meanwhile, so-called National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir warned Netanyahu of consequences if the reports are not wrong.
“Mr. Prime Minister, if you don’t promise that the reports on weapons being given to the terrorists of the Palestinian Authority are wrong, there will be consequences,” warned National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. If you mean to work toward an Oslo government 2.0, please update your ministers and the public, and we’ll act accordingly,” the Israeli minister was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying.
Ben-Gvir was already on the outs with Netanyahu after the prime minister refused his request on Tuesday to give Palestinian prisoners worse conditions than they have now. As a result of the decision, Ben-Gvir had announced that his Otzma Yehudit party would meet on Wednesday to discuss its future steps.
Netanyahu Blames Bennett-Lapid Gov’t
For his part, Netanyahu blamed the move on the Bennett-Lapid government last year.
“What we did do was implement a decision made by defense minister Benny Gantz (in the Bennet-Lapid government) on January 22, to transfer a number of armored vehicles to replace other armored vehicles that have become obsolete,” said Netanyahu, according to the JPost.
“This is what we did. No tanks, no Kalashnikovs, nothing. So sometimes even the fake news is not ‘armored,’ and it’s good that we punctured this lie.”
Source: Israeli media