Tags: Palestinian | Police | Revamped

Palestinian Police to Be Revamped

Thursday, 05 June 2003 12:00 AM

A new uniformed police force called "The Central Security Forces," trained to deal with riots and other violence, will also be formed under plans to revamp Palestinian Authority security, well-informed security sources said.

Palestinian security sources also said that several qualified security officers had recently begun intensive professional training courses on fighting violence.

The ministry sources told United Press International Thursday that the police equipment expected "is to rehabilitate the different Palestinian security apparatuses as well as being able to implement the security part in the 'road map' peace plan."

The sources said the equipment would include jeeps and other special vehicles to disperse riots as well as shields, light pistols and helmets. The equipment was already under Israeli control awaiting shipment to Palestinian authorities, they said.

Palestinian Authority security and police forces have been devastated by Israeli attacks during the intifada.

The news about international assistance comes one day after a peace summit in Aqaba, Jordan, where Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reached agreements brokered by U.S. President George W. Bush.

As the first tentative steps on the "road map" set out by Bush, Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, promised to crack down on attacks on Israelis and Sharon said some Israeli outposts would be dismantled. The two also agreed to hold two meetings, one security and the other political.

Mohamed Dahlan, PA minister for security affairs, and Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz plan to meet for the former next week, and Abu Mazen and other PA political leaders will meet with Sharon for the latter.

Before the meeting, Abu Mazen and Dahlan plan to study security plans, including the reconstruction of security apparatuses, that the Palestinian Authority will implement, the sources said.

An intensive movement of police forces was seen in the streets of several Gaza Strip areas still under the control of the PA security forces, where joint patrols of security were seen driving around.

Meanwhile, some Palestinian Authority officials informed Palestinian Satellite and Palestinian Television as well as local radio stations to minimize talk that might incite violence.

Despite these measures, the Palestinian National Resistance Brigades, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, vowed on Thursday to continue what it called "armed resistance" against Israel.

The DFLP, which is a left-wing faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a leaflet that "as long as there is Israeli military occupation, our legal resistance will continue."

The group warned of any attempt to confiscate guns and disarm Palestinian militant groups carrying out attacks on Israel, insisting that "the gun we have is legal, and it is used to fight military occupation."

"Sharon's conditions and pressures on the Palestinian side during the Aqaba summit means that he is insisting on continuing the occupation and settlements and turning the 'road map' into a Sharonic map," said the group, which also warned against an internal Palestinian political struggle.

Earlier in the day, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said Sharon "didn't give up anything tangible" when he spoke at the conclusion of the peace summit.

"Does moving a caravan or two mean dismantling settlements?" he asked.

He was speaking in Ramallah during a meeting with the newly appointed U.N. Children's Fund special coordinator for the Palestinian territories.

Asked about the summit, Arafat said there would be meetings in the next 24 hours to discuss its results. Arafat was excluded from the summit at U.S. and Israeli insistence. Both U.S. and Israeli officials say he is not doing enough to curb anti-Israeli violence by Palestinian militant groups.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said Thursday he welcomed the three-way arbitration committee set up by Bush, Sharon and Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, during the summit, adding, "We have to look further in the three speeches to see the big picture and understand what happened during the summit."

Shaath added, "Israel's stance was to return to the negotiations table and to admit the right of establishing a Palestinian state, in addition to dismantling the Jewish settlements that obstruct the geographic connections between the Palestinian territories."

He said Israel must stop its unilateral measures, particularly those that concern the Palestinians' right to return and the city of Jerusalem.

Leaders of the militant Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine denounced Abbas for saying the intifada should be demilitarized.

Palestinians said the Israeli army was continuing to raid houses and make arrests in the territories. Israel said the troops were taking action against people preparing attacks on it.

By late Thursday, Israeli soldiers had killed two Hamas militants in an exchange of gunfire north of the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Israel Radio and Palestinian witnesses reported. Witnesses said that another Hamas member was wounded and arrested in the incident.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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A new uniformed police force called "The Central Security Forces," trained to deal with riots and other violence, will also be formed under plans to revamp Palestinian Authority security, well-informed security sources said. Palestinian security sources also said that...
Thursday, 05 June 2003 12:00 AM
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