RAMALLAH, May 2 (JMCC) - Israeli officials are reviewing whether they will allow a new battalion of Palestinian security officers to travel to Jordan for training this month, reports the Jerusalem Post
The move comes as Palestinian factions Fateh and Hamas meet in Cairo to sign a reconciliation deal that will likely create a shared government. Israel has slammed the deal and halted the transfer of Palestinian Authority tax revenues, saying it fears the monies will go to support the Islamist movement Hamas.
Next week, the seventh battalion of Palestinian security officers and trained by the US will return to the West Bank from Jordan, raising the number of American-trained security personnel in the territories to around 3,500.
[Israeli] defense sources said that the departure of the eighth battalion, scheduled for some time in late May or early June, would depend on the establishment of a new Fatah- Hamas unity government and the potential effect it could have on Israeli-PA security coordination.
The security coordination between Israel and the PA has allowed the IDF to scale back operations inside Palestinian cities in recent years and to withdraw some units from the territories. The number of soldiers deployed in the West Bank in 2010 was the lowest since the beginning of the First Intifada in the 1980s.