Palestinian Authority police 311 (R).
(photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
Despite concerns over the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement, the defense establishment has decided to allow a battalion of Palestinian Authority security personnel to travel in the coming weeks to Jordan for training by the United States.
The battalion will be the eighth group of 500 Palestinian security officers to have undergone training overseen by the United States in Jordan.
Following training, the battalion will deploy in the West Bank, raising the number of Americantrained Palestinian security personnel in the territories to around 4,000.
Defense officials had said that approval of the battalion’s departure to Jordan would depend on developments following the Fatah- Hamas reconciliation agreement signed on May 4 and the potential effect it could have on Israeli-PA security coordination.
For the time being, Israel has decided to continue coordinating with PA security apparatuses, since Hamas has not received a “practical role” that provides it influence over the security men.
Increased cooperation in recent years has enabled the IDF to rely on PA
forces to crack down on Hamas terrorist infrastructure and as a result
to scale back operations inside Palestinian cities in the West Bank.
The training of the Palestinian battalions is overseen by Lt.-Gen.
Michael Moeller, who took up the post as the US Security Coordinator to
Israel and the PA in place of Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton in November.
Moeller, a former B-52 bomber pilot in the US Air Force, is responsible
for the training of the PA forces in Jordan as well as the ongoing
reforms throughout the PA security establishment.