The Palestinian Authority has opened a new training center for its elite presidential guard in the West Bank town of Jericho. Most of the funding for the $11.5 million center was provided by the United States. The center is part of the US effort to boost Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. A special security envoy, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, has coordinated several years of efforts to help train Palestinian forces. Israel and the United States have said the Palestinians' ability to handle internal security is a prerequisite for statehood. Speaking at the ceremony, US State Department official David Johnson called the facility "impressive."