Palestinian security sharpens up

Forces end US-backed training programme to restructure security apparatus.

    The Palestinian president  implemented the training
    plan after the US injected $59 million

    A battalion of 700 Palestinian security members has undertaken an exercise under the eyes of representatives from the Quartet – the EU, US, UN and Russia – to commemorate the end of a two-month training course.

     

    This training programme comes as part of a US plan to improve and reinforce the power of security forces loyal to the Palestinian president.

     

    A special budget of $59 million was approved by the US Congress for implementation of the plan.

     

    Staff Brigader Khader Erikat, a training manager, said: "I believe when all security forces are unified under one command, one authority, one leadership and one weapon, I think they can take control."

     

    The training ground in Jericho is located metres away from an Israeli checkpoint. However, there have been numerous instances of co-operation.

     

    Blockade

     

    Palestinian security forces have engaged in co-ordinated training exercises with the Israelis outside their Jericho camp, but problems still exist.

     

    Palestinian Brigader Mahdi Sardah, a programme instructor, said: "Unfortunately the Israelis put some obstacles.

     

    "We ordered some equipment and uniform from Jordan. It has been waiting at the border for three weeks.

     

    "We should have some ammunition for the training; the Israelis do not allow it. [But] our friends in the Quartet are trying to help."

     

    The first battalion is trained to carry out special missions – for the first time the Palestinian security force has a unit specially trained to fight terrorism.

     

    Many forces will be deployed in Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank and Gaza.

     

    The training is tough physical and mental training for Palestinian security forces.

     

    The real challenge, though, is whether it will be able to gain influence to control the areas in which they will patrol.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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