Israeli officials blasted Putin's statement about such an intention, although US administration supported it
Israel does not have anything against handing over Russian helicopters to Palestine. However, the Israeli administration believes that the plans to supply Palestinian troops with armored vehicles are extremely untimely, advisor to the chairman of the Israeli government, Raanan Gissin told RIA Novosti news agency.
Reports about Russia's intention to hand over 50 reconnaissance machines to Palestine have repeatedly appeared in regional and international press. Gissin stated that Israeli officials discussed the issue with spokespeople for the Russian authorities, but the Israeli side did not express its support of the question during the talks, of course. “We said that we had no objections to delivering helicopters to Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas). As for the suggestion to hand over 50 armored vehicles to Palestine, Palestinian authorities should first take adequate measures within the scope of the anti-terrorist struggle,” Gissin said.
In the event Palestine abides by its obligations in the field, destroys the “terrorist infrastructure,” and puts an end to illegal turnover of weapons, Israel, Gissin said, could probably withdraw its objections regarding the delivery of armored vehicles to “Palestinian reformed and anti-terrorist security forces.”
For the time being, certain military structures of Palestine are still involved in terrorist activities, Ariel Sharon's advisor asserts. Gissin believes that it would be strange to provide weapons to the forces, which carry out terrorist acts at night and support law and order in the streets during the daytime, for example.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated yesterday at the press conference in Ramallah, that Russia intended to deliver helicopters and communication means to Palestine and assist in training personnel for military structures. “We want this cooperation to be transparent that would not raise concerns with the Israeli administration,” the Russian president said.
Meanwhile, the US government does not object to delivering Russian aviation and other arms to Palestine. However, American officials urged the Russian leadership to make sure first that the weaponry would not be used by terrorist groups afterwards.
A spokesman for the US Department of State, Adam Ereli, particularly said that one should strengthen Palestinian security forces. Ereli added, however, that there should be reliable guarantees provided that the weapons would not be used by the forces that strive for undermining the peaceful process in the Middle East.
The spokesman for the US administration reminded that the USA was providing active assistance in reforming the Palestinian security forces, which supposedly play an extremely important role in the peaceful process of the anti-terrorist struggle in the region.
Being international mediators in the anti-terrorist struggle, Russia and the USA conduct regular consultations for feuding sides about possible ways to achieve peace in the war-weary region, Ereli said.