Hamas Criticizes PA Over US Consulate Blackwater Contract

PNN – Palestine News Network – 17.01.11 – 10:50

Bethlehem – PNN – The Islamic movement Hamas expressed its objection to the American hiring of the infamous Blackwater contracting firm, now under the name Xe Services Worldwide, for security services in the West Bank. Hamas called the move “a suspicious step” to protect Israeli and Fatah security agencies and persecute resistance fighters.

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The logo of the Blackwater company, now known as Xe Services Worldwide (PNN Archive).

Sources close to the US Consulate General explained that the new security company would only provide security for diplomats and consular staff.

According to a US Consulate General statement from January 3, the US State Department notified International Development Solutions, LLC (also known as the International Development Solutions or IDS) that it would be awarded the task of protective security in the West Bank, services based from the US Consulate General in Jerusalem. IDS is a joint venture between Kaseman, the majority partner, and the US Training Center, a company formerly affiliated with Xe Services Worldwide, formerly known as Blackwater.

The Fatah-led Palestinian government announced that it had nothing to do with the US Consulate General security contracts, adding that the UN uses private security contractors as well, which the Palestinian Authority has nothing to do with. It is likely that US Consulate General security services would only enter the West Bank as bodyguards, for example when providing security for a visiting American diplomat.

“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,”” Hamas stated in a press release.

The Hamas movement took over the Gaza strip in June 2007 ending months of bloody fighting with the Fatah movement headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

Xe Services Worldwide is the largest American contractor servicing the US military, providing nearly 1000 contractors, of whom 744 are American citizens. The company is no longer allowed to function in Iraq, where several of its employees were linked to killings of at least 17 civilians in September 2007.


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PNN – Palestine News Network – Hamas Criticizes PA Over US Consulate Blackwater Contract.

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