Palestinian Authorities Deny Their Connection With A Detained Ship With Arms On Board

Representatives of the Palestinian National Administration (PNA) emphatically deny any connection with a ship with arms and ammunition on board, which was detained by Israeli naval boats in the area of the city Rosh Kha-Nikra near the border with the Lebanon. Meanwhile, according to Israeli comments, the arms and ammunition discovered on board the ship were meant for Palestinian armed formations in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians "do not control all of the Mediterranean and are not responsible for all the ships sailing there", Saeb Erekat, a high-ranking PNA spokesman, said in this connection. Even according to Israel's assertions, the recipient of the cargo is Ahmed Jibril's People's Front of Palestine Liberation, not the authorities of the Palestinian autonomy, said information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo. In his words, this organization is not part of the Palestine Liberation Organization, but its political opponent. This is why, he claims, there are no grounds at all to make any accusations against the authorities of the Palestinian autonomy and Yasser Arafat. And in general, say the Palestinians, everything is yet to be thoroughly checked out. According to the Israeli version and stills shown on TV, not only a great amount of submachine-guns and grenade-launchers but also compact anti-aircraft complexes and several dozen 107-mm missiles have been found on board the detained ship. It is pointed out that such missiles are capable of flying over a distance of more than 8 km. Consequently, one can easily fire them from the Gaza Strip at the major Israeli city Ascalon in the south of the country, note local commentators.

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