Jerusalem – The Middle East Newsline confirms that the United States has failed to conduct a coordinated effort to improve the Palestinian Authority security forces.
The State Department has received a report that pointed to serious drawbacks in the PA security forces. They said the report by U.S. security coordinator Gen. James Jones asserted that U.S. agencies failed to coordinate aid to enhance Palestinian security.
“It’s a tough report, and much of it could remain classified,” an official said.
The Jones report, meant to review security requirements for a Palestinian state, was relayed to the Bush administration after nearly a year of intensive U.S. efforts to improve PA security forces in the West Bank.
Despite the training of more than 1,000 Palestinian officers, the report determined that the PA remained incapable of enforcing order in the the cities under control of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Mr. Abbas has deployed troops in such cities as Jenin and Nablus. Mr. Abbas has warned that he would withdraw the forces unless Israel halts raids of West Bank cities.
The report warned that inadequate PA security would hamper U.S. plans to establish a Palestinian state by 2009. They said the report outlined what Israel and the PA must do to meet the U.S. timetable.
The U.S. general, appointed security coordinator in November 2007, was said to have urged President George W. Bush to publish the entire report. The report was said to have been critical of the lack of coordination between Gen. Jones and Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, responsible for development of PA security forces.
The Bush administration has also appointed Lt. Gen. William Frazier to facilitate security requirements for a Palestinian state. Officials said Lt. Gen. Frazier has been monitoring Israeli and PA compliance with the so-called Roadmap, which outlined steps required for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Gen. Jones’ main task has been to reach an Israeli-PA security agreement that would enable the establishment of a Palestinian state by January 2009. They said Gen. Jones has sought to mediate PA demands for a conventional military against Israel’s position that the Palestinians must be equipped with no more than a strong police force.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008