US was alerted that Israel planned to raid Jericho Prison

Decision to pull American, British monitors from the Jericho Prison taken due to security issues.

PA police jericho 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
PA police jericho 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel briefed the US on its plan to raid the Jericho prison a short time before the IDF forces reached the area and kept the Americans updated on the progress of the raid. Diplomatic sources in Washington said Tuesday that the briefings were done both through the US embassy in Tel-Aviv and by the Israeli embassy in Washington. The US made it clear Tuesday that the decision to pull out American and British monitors from the Jericho prison was taken only because of security issues. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, on tour in Indonesia with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said that "The monitors were withdrawn out of concern for their safety". He added that the Palestinians were warned in advance, in a joint British-US letter from March 8, that if the Palestinian Authority does not improve the security of the foreign monitors around the prison, they will be pulled out. The US monitors were not in the prison in the past day, since the responsibility is divided between the Americans and the British and the last shift in the Jericho prison was manned by the British monitors. Spokesman McCormack, talking to reporters before the standoff outside the prison ended said he would not comment on the Israeli military operation in Jericho and only said that "we are urging calm on all sides and that we would like to see it resolved as quickly as possible".