Tel Aviv: Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant denied media reports on Wednesday that claimed Israel approved and transferred US weapons to Palestinian forces.
Earlier in the day, Israeli army radio Galei Tzahal reported that Palestinian authorities had recently received a shipment of US weaponry and munitions directed for use in counterterrorist operations against Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movement. At least 1,500 rifles and a number of US armored vehicles were reportedly sent from US bases in Jordan to Palestine over the past few days. The report drew a wave of criticism from several Israeli cabinet ministers, who demand the news story’s official retraction.
“I heard false claims … Despite misrepresentations emerging from various reports, I have neither approved nor carried out the transfer of weapons to the Palestinian National Authority since I assumed the position of Minister of Defense. Any attempt to present things differently is a blatant lie,” Gallant wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that the transfer was approved by the office of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), managed by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. The minister later announced that he was planning to hold an emergency meeting to address the issue.