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Report: Palestinian Security Forces train on Artillery and Armored Vehicles in Pakistan- A “Palestinian” Army is Being Formed under Israel's nose

Members of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces were sent to Pakistan for military training, including on armored vehicles, artillery, sniper rifles, heavy weapons, and as paratroopers. Following the massacre on Oct. 7th the Pakistani military said, "Our support for the Palestinian cause goes beyond words."

  • Elchanan Gruner, Hakol Hayehudi
  • י"ב אייר תשפ"ד - 13:25 20/05/2024
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Palastinian army
Palastinian army

While diplomatic conversations on the future of Gaza remain ongoing, efforts at establishing a Palestinian Authority military in Judea and Samaria have been taking place under Israel's nose.

A joint investigation by HaKol HaYehudi and the Struggle for Every Dunam found that members of the PA Security Forces are being sent to the Pakistani Military Academy to receive training that will enable them to serve as officers in a Palestinian army being built in Judea and Samaria.

The investigation shows that in recent years, many members of the PA security forces have completed a two-year military training program in Pakistan. The program includes training on artillery, sniper rifles, machine guns, parachuting, and more. HaKol HaYehudi’s findings on this training are especially significant now after the Oct. 7th massacre and the increasing concerns that the PA security forces could ultimately turn their weapons on Israel.

The investigation further found that many member of the PA forces sent to Pakistan have a history of supporting terror and come from areas with terror bases such as Jenin, Tulkarem, Ramallah, and Nablus. Many of these forces have documented their training and stated openly their ultimate intentions after the training.

For example, Omar Suifta from Tulkarem traveled to Pakistan for training and while there expressed support on social media for terror groups including the Lion’s Den terror group, which was responsible for killing five Jews in Bnei Brak and numerous other attacks. Likewise, the Facebook page of another officer, Faez Salim, contains multiple images of Hamas terrorists conquering Jerusalem and blowing up Israeli tanks.

The Pakistani army has also been open about the goals of the training, and just two weeks after the Oct. 7th massacre, the Pakistani Army's official Twitter account announced that six officers from the Palestinian Authority completed their military training in the country. The post went on to state that Pakistani support for Palestine goes beyond words and includes "training and preparation."

The training program for PA security forces in Pakistan is in addition to programs in other countries such as Jordan, Russia, Algeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, and most recently Indonesia, which just granted scholarships to 22 PA cadets. At the same time, the training in Pakistan is unique as Pakistan is the only nuclear power of the group that is openly and explicitly hostile to Israel.

Another important aspect of the training programs is that they enable connections between PA security forces and potential future military leaders in these foreign countries.

While the Palestinian Authority does not currently have tanks or heavy armor, the Oct. 7th attacks showed the damage that can be carried out even with just shoulder-fired missiles, machine guns, and mortars.

Judea and Samaria are also flooded with various weapons and the new capabilities obtained by PA security forces in Pakistan along with current availability of weapons present a clear and present danger to Israeli security.

Relatedly, over the past few months two significant sniper attacks took place in Judea and Samaria. In one attack a female Border Police officer was injured in the village of Sinjil in Binyamin, while a second attack at the Parsa Junction in Gush Talmonim led to a massive manhunt. The sniper in the latter attack was trained in Jordan as part of his work in the PA security forces.

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The second danger of this foreign military training is political. These trainings suggest that the PA is preparing tens of thousands of operatives to serve in a future Palestinian army if a Palestinian state is ever recognized.

During the investigation, HaKol HaYehudi inquired with the IDF Central Command, which seemingly was completely unaware of the training programs for PA security forces in Pakistan and had no plans to address it. Senior diplomatic officials and politicians said they were shocked by the findings.

The IDF spokesperson and the Shin Bet spokesperson refused to comment on the issue, making it unclear if the Israeli Military Intelligence or the Shin Bet were aware of the situation. In any case, neither the political echelon nor the IDF Central Command responsible in the field were briefed on the matter. Whether the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence merely neglected to update the forces in the field or if they themselves were unaware of the issue is unclear, but either case is extremely disturbing.

 
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