In stead of protecting Palestinians: Palestinian Authority consider renewing joint patrols with Israeli occupation


Al Ray Agencies | Aug 25, 2013

After a suspension of more than a decade, Israel and the Palestinian Authority were examining the prospect of joint security patrols.

Officials said Israel and the PA have been urged by the United States to renew joint security patrols in the West Bank. They said the proposal was seen as a confidence-building measure to expand PA security responsibilities in areas under formal Israeli control.

“There is currently a working group that is looking into coordination that could create something totally new, mutual police patrols,” Israel police commissioner Yohanan Danino said.

At a news conference on Aug. 21, Danino joined his PA counterpart, Brig. Gen. Hazem Atallah, in disclosing the proposed return of joint police patrols. Danino said the plan was being overseen by the Israel Army( Military Forces) , which maintains formal control over the West Bank.

The Israel Army( Military Forces)  and PA police conducted joint patrols for several years in the 1990s. But the patrols were abandoned in 2000 during the launch of the Palestinian revolt — when PA officers began firing at their Israeli colleagues.

Officials said the latest proposal envisioned Israeli and PA officers focusing on reckless driving along major roads in the West Bank. They cited Highway 60, which stretches 50 kilometers from north to south and used by both Arab and Jewish motorists.

 “The plans have not been completed,” Atallah said at the news conference in the West Bank city of Jericho, located near the Jordanian border.

The concept of joint patrols has been supported by the administration of President Barack Obama. Officials said a U.S. organization, Police Executive Research Forum, was assigned to bring Israel and PA police for discussions on areas of cooperation. They said the discussions took place over the last year.

The discussions also included representatives from neighboring Jordan.Officials said the three sides discussed joint efforts to counter smuggling and human trafficking from and to the West Bank.

For his part, Danino said Israel, Jordan and the PA were committed to submitting a plan for cooperation by Oct. 1. The Israeli police chief said the plan might not include joint patrols.


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