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Wednesday, July 21, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Donated Russian APCs for Palestinians arrive
in Jordan

MOSCOW — Russia has reported the arrival in Jordan of all armored combat vehicles allocated to the Palestinian Authority.


The Russian Foreign Ministry has reported the arrival of 50 BTR-70 armored personnel carriers in Jordan. The ministry said the APCs marked a donation for the Palestinian Authority in the neighboring West Bank, Middle East Newsline reported.

"The official ceremony of acceptance of this special equipment was held on July 19 in Jordan, where it was transported by sea," the ministry said on July 20. "Russian specialists have trained Palestinian drivers and mechanics skills in maintenance of these APCs."

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The Foreign Ministry statement, the third report on the delivery within two weeks, said Jordan has allowed for the "temporary storage" of the BTR-70s. The statement did not say when the armored vehicles would be delivered to PA security forces in the West Bank.

The Kremlin has pledged to provide the PA with the BTR-70s since 2005. Officials cited both technical and diplomatic delays, including Israeli objections to weapons on the APCs.

"Russian armored vehicles will be there, waiting for the Palestinian and Israeli sides to agree on the terms and modalities of operations in the West Bank," the ministry said. "It is important to do so without delay. We believe this will ensure a significant contribution to strengthening the rule of law in the Palestinian territories by the Palestinians themselves."

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