US proposes plan to boost Abbas' security force

October 5, 2006 16:11

The United States, moving to bolster Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has proposed a plan to beef up the Palestinian chairman's elite security force and expand its authorities in the Gaza Strip, American officials said Thursday. The $20 million plan calls for training Abbas' presidential guard and upgrading the main cargo crossing between Gaza and Israel. The presidential guard would oversee the Palestinian side of the crossing, which has repeatedly been closed over the past year due to Israeli security alerts. Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, the US security coordinator in the West Bank and Gaza, is working out the plan, which was discussed during US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's meeting with Abbas in the West Bank on Wednesday, the officials said.

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