Dov Weissglas, Sharon’s senior adviser, is slated to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday to discuss the US demand that Israel should approve the Palestinian request to provide P.A security forces with ammunition.
Weissglas left Israel on Saturday at night heading to the United States to meet with Rice and discuss the Palestinian request and other disengagement related issues.
According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel approved a request by the P.A to buy ammunition from Egypt for its Kalashnikov rifles.
Israeli officials told the United States that Israel will agree to the transfer of ‘non-lethal equipment’ such as trucks and communication devices to the Palestinians, but that the request for ammunition was ‘still under review.’
Meanwhile, the Israeli online daily Haaretz reported on Sunday that Weissglas will discuss with American officials, including Rice, the possibility of providing the P.A with a shipment of ammunition.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Israel Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz reported reservations concerning this issue claiming that if the Palestinians receive ammunition they will use it against Israel if the situation deteriorates.
Weissglas will try to examine the American persistence on its demand, and is expected attempt to achieve political gains in return for approving it, according to Haaretz.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
Israel expects the United States to announce that it intends to provide it with $2.1 billion in aid. One-third of the money is slated to cover the cost of relocating the Israeli military camps which are currently in the Gaza Strip; while the remaining two-thirds of the sum will be used by Israel in order to develop the Negev and Galilee regions, Israeli sources reported on Sunday.
Recently, the Israeli media published several reports which revealed that the US is showing great interest in succeeding the disengagement plan, in order to shift the media attention from its involvement in Iraq and the difficulties its faces in Ã¢â‚¬Å“achieving democracy in the Arab countriesÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Also, Haaretz added that Rice might return to the Middle East in August in order to observe the implementing disengagement, and show Ã¢â‚¬Ëœactive AmericanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ presence in the process.
According to Israeli political sources, Dan Halutz, the Israel army Chief of Staff apposes providing the P.A with ammunition. Dan Halutz, Shin Bet (Israeli Secrete Security service) security chief, confirmed that the Palestinian Authority do not have sufficient ammunition.
Israeli minister of finance Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his objection to the Palestinian request saying that this ammunition will be used against the Israeli.
Netanyahu slammed the P.A claiming that it is trying to receive ammunition in order to fight Israel.
The statements of Netanyahu came during a cabinet session on Sunday.