Blackwater Related Firm to Provide “Protective Security” in West Bank

Thursday, 13 January 2011 12:36 Tania Kepler for the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

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The U.S. State Department has awarded a 5 year, $84 million contract to a security group formerly connected to the infamous Blackwater firm, to provide “protective security” in the West Bank.

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International Development Solutions, a joint venture that includes U.S. Training Center, a company owned until recently by Xe Services, formerly named Blackwater, will oversee the West Bank operation, according to the Washington Post.

The group will provide “services that are based from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

The initial contract, awarded January 3rd, is for one year, “with the possibility of four, one-year renewable options” with a total value of roughly $84.3 million, Toner said.

The United States previously hired Blackwater for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which result in high numbers of civilian deaths.

Blackwater had been fined $42 million by the US for exporting illegal arms to Afghanistan, offering to train forces in southern Sudan without authority and training Taiwan police officers to sharp shoot.

A spokesperson for Hamas is calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to reconsider such a presence in the West Bank, saying “We emphasize that our Palestinian land is not an arena for the criminals of that infamous company, who committed anti-humanitarian crimes and scandals in Iraq and Afghanistan and killed hundreds of innocent civilians.”

Blackwater Related Firm to Provide “Protective Security” in West Bank.

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