Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Israel Matzav: Armed 'Palestinians' to patrol in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem?

Armed 'Palestinians' to patrol in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem?

The Netanyahu government is considering allowing armed 'Palestinians' to patrol Arab-populated towns in Judea and Samaria and some Arab suburbs of Jerusalem that are outside the 'security fence.'

Israel is considering handing over security responsibilities to Palestinians in additional West Bank towns under U.S.-backed plans for resuming peace talks, Israeli and Palestinian security sources said.

The sources named Abu Dis, a town at the edge of Jerusalem once seen as a possible Palestinian seat of government, as one of the more significant sites where Israel is weighing whether to soon permit armed Palestinian police to patrol.

An Israeli security source said this week it is "an idea Israel is considering" if George Mitchell, U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy, succeeds in resuming peace talks with Palestinians stalled since December 2008.


Palestinian security sources have said the United States also asked Israel to give Palestinians wider security control over some towns in occupied land, in addition to releasing prisoners and removing more roadblocks to allow freer movement.

A Palestinian official quoting police in Abu Dis, who now number a handful of unarmed men, said this week they were told they would be given greater security control later this month, when they would be permitted to carry weapons.


The United States has in the last few years helped train Palestinian police now in charge of most major West Bank cities as a counterbalance to Hamas Islamist rivals of Western-backed Abbas. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

But Israel has not permitted armed Palestinian forces to patrol in any West Bank town as close to Jerusalem as Abu Dis, and any Israeli agreement to do so could signal important progress was being made on a core conflict issue.

Many Palestinians regard Abu Dis, a town of 12,000, as a part of Jerusalem, as symbolized by a university there bearing the city's name, though the town is now isolated from the holy city by a cement barrier Israel built citing security reasons.

Does anyone else remember the first death of an Israeli in Judea and Samaria during the Oslo terror war?

The first to be killed, Ethiopian immigrant Border Police Supt. Yosef Asrasa Tabajia, 27, was shot at point-blank range by his Palestinian counterpart while on a joint patrol in Kalkilya on September 29.

What has changed in the last ten years? Have the 'Palestinians' become less hostile? What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Armed 'Palestinians' to patrol in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem?

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