Palestinian Authority receives US armoured vehicles, weapons

Palestinian Authority receives US armoured vehicles, weapons
The Palestinian Authority has received US-made armoured vehicles and weapons via Jordan to support its "security work" in the West Bank as the power of armed Palestinian groups rises.
3 min read
12 September, 2023
PA security forces have previously clashed with Palestinian armed factions [Getty]

The Palestinian Authority has received US-made armoured vehicles and weapons via Jordan to support its "security work" in the West Bank, according to reports on Monday evening.

These vehicles and weapons will be used to "enforce law and order" in areas under PA control in the occupied West Bank, according to Al-Quds Daily.

This follows the emergence of a new Palestinian armed faction named Lions' Den, particularly around Jenin, and a wave of deadly raids by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

This situation has led to allegations that the PA has "lost control" of the West Bank, with 185 Palestinians killed by Israel in the occupied territory since January.

Israeli allies such as the US are said to be alarmed by the growing power of Palestinian armed groups.

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Many of these, including Islamic Jihad, are relatively well-equipped with explosives and US-made rifles.

Israel has alleged that the Jordan border has become a hotspot for gun-running making Palestinian groups increasingly more formidable amid a wave of attacks on Israeli checkpoints.

"The armoured vehicles were obtained by the Authority from the American side through the Jordanian mediator... [aimed at] strengthening the capabilities of the Palestinian security services in confronting the Palestinian armed cells stationed in Jenin and the city of Nablus," the report said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The US has been pressuring the PA to accept a security plan for the West Bank, where Palestinian security forces would receive training to help them rein in Lions' Den, PIJ, and Hamas cells in flashpoint cities such as Jenin, Tulkarm, and Nablus.

While the PA did not officially adopt the plan, its security forces have engaged in clashes with Palestinian armed groups in areas such as Tulkarm.

Under a previous US-led plan, PA forces have been trained by the Jordanian military and the Al-Quds report indicated that coordination between Ramallah and Amman on security issues was recently initiated.

"The sources indicated that the American side understood the demands of the authority in this regard and worked to provide it with the necessary equipment, whether armoured vehicles or modern automatic weapons equipped with laser [sights] for use in raids and clashes with armed cells, especially in Jenin, which is considered the fiercest governorate in the confrontation, specifically the [refugee] camp that includes experienced fighters," the report stated.

In 2019, the PA received ten armoured vehicles via Jordan in order to strengthen "domestic security". 

Since far-right ministers were appointed to Benjamin Netanyahu's government, Israel's assaults on the West Bank have been more frequent and brutal consequences, with scores of people killed.

The Israeli government has also planned to expand settlements in the West Bank and demolish Palestinian homes and villages.