Jerusalem – The Middle East Newsline has revealed that after more than six months of negotiations, Israel has approved the delivery of armored jeeps and body armor to the Palestinian Authority.

The equipment was approved by Israel in July and would arrive in several deliveries over the next few weeks. They said PA security forces would use the 142 jeeps and 200 body armor sets for anti-crime and counter-insurgency operations in the West Bank.

“This will provide us with the protection that will allow our forces to impose order in the area,” an Israeli official said.

The PA request for the jeeps and body armor was submitted in early 2008 through the United States. Since then, U.S. security coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton has pressed the Israeli military to permit the entry of the equipment from neighboring Jordan.

Israel had opposed PA procurement out of concern the armored jeeps would be used in attacks on the Jewish state and its military. Over the last few weeks, they said, Israel and the PA reached agreement on the terms of the use of the equipment and its area of operation.

The PA National Security Force (NSF) would acquire the equipment. The United States plans to expand the NSF to 40,000 troops, trained in anti-riot and counter-insurgency skills.

In the first stage of the U.S. plan, five NSF battalions would be established and trained. An NSF battalion was scheduled to begin a four-month training course in Jordan by September.

So far, two NSF battalions have been sent to a U.S.-financed facility outside Amman, Jordan.

The United States has also overseen the development of the presidential guards, including the establishment of a training center outside the West Bank town of Jericho.

There is one fly in the ointment. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the entity that oversees the Palestinian Authority, remains in a state of war with Israel, since the PLO never ratified the Oslo peace accords of 1993 that were signed by the late PLO leader Yassir Arafat, even though the Israeli Knesset Parliament ratified these accords at the time.

Therefore, any arms in the hands of a PLO can be used against the state of Israel, which is what happened in September 2000 after talks broke down between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.

The Israeli government spokespeople do not address the fact Israel now supplies weaponry to an entity in a state of war with Israel.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com.

©The Bulletin 2008

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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