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August 07, 2007

Fayyad Said, Or Didn't He?

Palestinian security-forces.jpe
Did or didn't Fayyad tell Israel his security forces are not capable of providing security for the West Bank?/Maan image

The Associated Press and Ha'aretz were at odds yesterday on whether or not the Palestinian Authority wants full control over the West Bank and whether it believes it has the capability to provide security there.

AP's Mohammed Daraghmeh had this to say:

The Palestinians are eager to restore the situation quickly to what it was before the outbreak of the uprising in September 2000, including assuming full control over West Bank cities again.

Israel has agreed in principle, but the military has been slow to remove its West Bank checkpoints and reserves the right to chase Palestinian militants anywhere.

"So far, we are not satisfied with the progress," said Palestinian Information Minister Riad Malki, adding that the West Bank government hopes to "take full security control of the territories."

In contrast, the leading story in Ha'aretz yesterday, entitled "Palestinians: We can't take responsiblity for security in West Bank" reported:

The Palestinian Authority's security organizations are unable to assume security control of cities in the West Bank, Prime Minister Salam Fayad told senior Israeli officials during recent meetings. Fayad told Israeli officials that the PA's security forces are unable "to impose law and order in the West Bank at this time." . . . .

During meetings with senior Israeli officials, the interim Palestinian prime minister and his interior minister, Abd al-Razek al-Yihiya, made it clear that the PA's security cannot at this time assume control of West Bank cities. Among those to whom this message was conveyed recently was Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin.

CAMERA pointed out the contradiction to the AP, and subsequent AP stories by Karin Laub reported the discrepancy:

The Israeli daily Haaretz on Monday cited Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as telling Israeli officials the Palestinian security forces aren't ready yet to assume control. The report contradicted the official Palestinian position that the West Bank towns should be handed over quickly.

Palestinian Information Minister Riad Malki insisted Monday that Fayyad, in recent meetings with Israeli officials, "affirmed that the Palestinian governemtn is ready to take control of all cities in the West Bank."

However, a senior Palestinian security official in the West Bank town of Bethlehem said his forces need more time and training.

Posted by TS at August 7, 2007 05:41 AM

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