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    Russia hopes Israel allows armored vehicle supplies to PNA

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    Russia is hoping Israel will resolve issues blocking the delivery of 50 armored personnel carriers to the Palestinian territories as part of an aid program, the Russian foreign minister said Tuesday.

    BERLIN, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is hoping Israel will resolve issues blocking the delivery of 50 armored personnel carriers to the Palestinian territories as part of an aid program, the Russian foreign minister said Tuesday.

    "We have been ready to hand 50 APCs to Palestinian Administration security agencies for a long time. For the time being, unfortunately, they cannot be delivered to the PNA due to questions the Israeli side has. I hope these issues will be finally settled soon," Sergei Lavrov said at an international donor conference on the Middle East in Berlin.

    Lavrov said Russia has donated $40 million in aid to the Palestinian authorities for security programs. The minister also said hundreds of Palestinian security officers had undergone specialist training at Russian centers.

    The foreign minister said if the Hamas-Israeli truce, which was brokered with Egyptian mediation and started June 19 in the Gaza Strip, lasted the planned six months then the next step in settling the Middle East would be Palestinian unity. On Tuesday, however, the ceasefire was violated by Palestinian militants who launched a mortar attack from the Gaza Strip on Israel's south.

    As part of the agreement reached with Egypt's mediation it is also planned that economic sanctions will be gradually lifted and talks will resume on a prisoner exchange program to swap Palestinians currently being held in Israel for an Israeli soldier, captured two years ago by Palestinian militants.

    Israel has placed restrictions on fuel supplies and deliveries of other essential goods to Gaza as part of its attempt to pressure Hamas to stop rocket attacks on Israeli border towns. The radical Islamic group seized control of the enclave from the pro-Palestinian presidential Fatah movement 12 months ago.

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