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Monday July 26, 2010 8:10 AM (EST+7)
Report: Israel interfering with US training of Palestinian security

Read more: security, US foreign policy, US policy, police, justice system, rule of law

RAMALLAH, July 26 (JMCC) - Israel is interfering with US training of Palestinian security forces, finds a new report by a US government watchdog group.

The report by the US Government Accountability Office cited officials who said that logistical obstacles placed by the Israeli government were stalling efforts to train the Palestinian police and justice system.

The report cited officials from the U.S. State Department and the bureau of the U.S. security coordinator as saying that the process for obtaining government of Israel approval for the shipment and delivery of equipment for the PASF [Palestinian Authority Security Forces] is lengthy and may hamper the timely arrival of U.S. shipments. Moreover, the USSC lacks the means to hold the government of Israel or the PA accountable if shipments are delayed or approvals withheld.

The Government Accountability Office worked on the report from July 2009 to last May, meeting with American, Israeli and Palestinian officials in Washington, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ramallah. The document examines the extent and effectiveness of U.S. security assistance to the PA since 2007, in the context of the roadmap peace plan requiring security efforts as a prelude to the implementation of the two-state solution.

The report calls on the State Department to define specific objectives and come up with concrete methods of measuring progress, especially given the fact that it has invested $392 million in rehabilitating and training PA security forces since 2007 - more than $160 million to fund certain units of the security forces, $89 million for vehicles and nonlethal equipment, $99 million for the renovation or construction of PA security forces' installations and $22 million in programs to increase the forces' capacity. The State Department has requested an additional $150 million for 2011.

American military consultants are cited as saying there has been an improvement in the security situation in the West Bank, but that it is probably not directly linked to their work.

Read the story at Haaretz...







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