U.S. Moving Ahead with Plans to Train Palestinian Security Forces

[McClatchy] Dion Nissenbaum and Warren P. Strobel - The U.S. is planning to spend millions of dollars to train Palestinian security forces as part of a renewed effort to strengthen Mahmoud Abbas. American, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Monday they're fine-tuning a proposal that would send thousands of Palestinian forces loyal to Abbas to Jordan and Egypt for advanced training. Last week, the State Department told Congress how it intends to distribute $86 million in security assistance for the Palestinians: $35.5 million to equip 8,500 members of the National Security Force; $15.5 million to train 670 personnel to handle civil disturbances; $26 million to shore up Abbas' presidential guard; and $10 million to improve security at the Karni crossing between Israel and Gaza. The current proposal would send four groups of 1,400 Palestinian security members for two months of training in Jordan and Egypt. In Jordan, the troops are expected to go to a state-of-the-art training center near Amman that's used to train thousands of Iraqi police in counterterrorism. Other troops would be sent to Egypt to learn how to handle urban warfare. Palestinian military leaders want Israel to return large caches of weapons that it confiscated from the PA during the second Palestinian intifada. But the Israeli government has long argued that the West Bank and Gaza are saturated with weapons.

2007-02-07 01:00:00

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