EU calls for more donations to Palestinian law and order

Officals say body wants to expand existing 32-member police training program.

pa police 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
pa police 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
European Union officials asked international donors for money Monday to help train judges and improve conditions in the jails and courts of the Palestinian territories. The EU wants to expand an existing 32-member police training mission to a total of 70 experts to cover other areas of law and order. Some 15 EU member states, plus Norway and Canada, contribute officers to the police training mission, known as COPPS, that was launched in 2005. The COPPS mission, scheduled for three years, has done most training in the West Bank, bolstering a now 900-strong civil police force. The mission pulled out of the Gaza Strip after Hamas took over the territory including its police force. EU representatives including Javier Solana, the bloc's foreign policy chief, were to attend a Palestinian security conference in Berlin on Tuesday. A separate one-day donor's conference in Austria on Monday was seeking funds toward the US$450 million cost of rebuilding a war-ravaged Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon. "Although Berlin is not a pledging conference, certainly a new announcement of some contributors to fund some of the activities would be welcomed," Marc Otte, the EU's Middle East envoy, told reporters.