50 Russian APCs to West Bank

03.07.2010 MENA

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Russia will soon deliver 50 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) to the Palestinians, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced.
"In the nearest days, 50 APCs will be delivered to Jordan and will then be transferred to the Palestinian Security Forces in the West Bank," Andrei Nesterenko, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a news briefing in Moscow.
In 2005, Russia offered to supply Palestinian Security Forces with 50 APCs and 2 Mi-17 military cargo helicopters. However, these deliveries were blocked by Israel, which feared these equipments would get into the hands of Hamas and be used against Israeli military forces, said Dmitry Vasilyev, an analyst who tracks arms exports for the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.
In 2008, Israel agreed to have 25 Russian APCs delivered to the Palestinian Security Forces on the condition that all weapon systems would be removed from the vehicles.
In March 2009, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that 50 APCs and 2 Mi-17s would be handed over to the Palestinian Authority as a gift aimed at strengthening the Palestinian Administration. Russian officials said then that the vehicles' weapon systems would be dismantled, and the APCs would be delivered from the Russian Defense Ministry's existing stock.


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