Encouraging a Tougher PA Response to the Hamas Challenge

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Michael Herzog - The U.S. would be well advised to increase the pace of Palestinian security reform so as to produce a core force loyal to Abbas and effective in combating terrorism and lawlessness. A capable force would provide Abbas with both the muscle and self-confidence to curb Hamas and other militant groups. There are already sufficient personnel and weapons to field such a force - what is now required are political will, organizational skills, and resources. The G8 recently allocated substantial economic aid to the PA ($9 billion over the next three years). In light of this windfall, the international community, in conjunction with the PA, should emphasize to the Palestinian public the concrete quality-of-life improvements (jobs, construction, infrastructure) that lie ahead following the Israeli disengagement and pending a terror-free environment. This could help turn Palestinian sentiment against violence, boosting Abbas in the upcoming elections and giving him enhanced domestic legitimacy to crack down on Hamas if it attempts to destabilize the situation and challenge his authority. IDF Brig.-Gen. Michael Herzog is a visiting military fellow at The Washington Institute.

2005-07-29 00:00:00

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