PA honor guard.
(photo credit: Majdi Mohammed/AP)
A Palestinian battalion finishing training in Jordan will deploy in the West Bank at the beginning of November, raising the number of American trained Palestinian security personnel in the territories to 3,000.
After the battalion – the sixth trained in Jordan under the direction of the office of the United States Security Coordinator between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – deploys in the West Bank, a seventh battalion numbering about 500 security officers will head to Jordan for training.
Last week, Lt.-Gen. Michael Moeller took up the post as the USSC in
place of Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, who stepped down after five years in the
Moeller, a former B-52 bomber pilot in the US Air Force, will oversee
the training of the PA forces in Jordan as well as the ongoing reforms
throughout the PA security establishment.
Moeller has already held a series of meetings with top Israeli officials
and is expected to meet in the coming weeks with OC Central Command
Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi and Coordinator of Government Activities in the
Territories Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot.
Moeller most recently served as head of strategic planning in the US
Military’s Central Command (CENTCOM). He has clocked in over 4,400
flight hours as a pilot and served in active combat roles in Operation
Desert Storm in 1991 as well as during the ongoing war in Iraq.
The security forces trained by the USSC have proven effective against
Hamas, most recently following the August 31 shooting attack in the West
Bank that killed four Israelis. PA forces arrested hundreds of Hamas
members in the Hebron area after the shooting.
Their effective operations has led to an unprecedented increase in
coordination with the IDF, which in return has scaled back its own
operations in various Palestinian cities.
The battalions have so far deployed in Hebron, Jenin, Jericho, Nablus and Bethlehem.