US Report: Israel Hampers Training of West Bank Forces
Posted by Glezele Vayne on July 27, 2010
by Eldad Benari of Israel National News
A report published on Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in Washington accuses Israel of causing delays in the transfer of weapons, radios, vehicles, helmets and other equipment to the West Bank. These delays, according to the report, are hampering American efforts to train Palestinian Arab security forces in the West Bank.
The report’s purpose is to establish whether the US is getting value for the $392 million it has spent on training and rehabilitating the West Bank security forces since 2007, and was compiled after inquiries with US, Israeli and Arab officials between July 2009 and May 2010.
The report added that Israel publicly praises the effectiveness of security forces which in operate the West Bank, yet still causes delays which make it more difficult for the forces to act fully. For example, the report cites the impounding by Israeli customs of 1,000 AK-47 rifles despite prior approval of their import by the Israeli government. Another example is 1,400 radios (whose entrance into the West Bank for security purposes was previously approved) that US law enforcement authorities were forced to put into storage at a cost of $176,000 to the American taxpayer.
According to the report, there is evidence that that the Palestinian Arab security forces have markedly improved their efficiency, but Israel has blocked a US State Department proposal to set up a specialist counter-terrorist unit within the forces despite repeated calls on the forces to combat armed factions in the West Bank.
The report acknowledges that equipment shipments are frequently approved by Israel, though there can be delays of up to a year. It adds that Israel’s insistence on considering each shipment on a case by case basis also affects what is described as “non-lethal” equipment such as raincoats.
This entry was posted on July 27, 2010 at 11:22 pm and is filed under America, Fatah, Israel. Tagged: Dayton's Army, Government Accountability Office, Maj.-Gen Avi Mizrahi, Oslo Accords, Palestinian Authority, peace process, PLO, Roadmap, Two-state Final Solution, Two-state solution. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.