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U.S. moving ahead with plans to train Palestinian security forces PDF Print E-mail
Feb 05, 2007 at 12:00 AM

McClatchy Newspapers          February 5, 2007 
By Dion Nissenbaum and Warren P. Strobel
 
Ramallah, West Bank - The United States is planning to spend millions of dollars to train Palestinian security forces as part of a renewed effort to strengthen Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.  American, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Monday that they're fine-tuning a proposal that would send thousands of Palestinian forces loyal to Abbas to neighboring Jordan and Egypt for advanced training.    

The initiative is intended to provide Abbas with critical support in his political and military confrontation with the well-armed Hamas hard-liners who've controlled the Palestinian Authority since elections early last year.

The militant Islamist Hamas and Abbas' Fatah faction have fought in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.

But there's disagreement over whether to provide Abbas' forces with arms. Critics have charged that military aid could end up fueling, not containing, the street fighting, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives in the last two months.

A senior Bush administration official said late last week that the $86 million in security assistance for the Palestinians that the White House is requesting from Congress would be confined to non-lethal items, such as training.

But Brig. Gen. Majed Faraj, the head of military intelligence for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, said, "If they want to train the forces but not equip them, then there's no point in training them." ... 

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Dichter cancels U.K. trip over fears of 'war crimes' arrest
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Haaretz.
Dec. 6, 2007

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter canceled a trip to Britain over concerns he would be arrested due to his involvement in the decision to assassinate the head of Hamas' military wing in July 2002.

Fifteen people were killed in the bombing of Salah Shehade's house in Gaza, among them his wife and three children, when Dichter was head of the Shin Bet security service. He is the first minister to have to deal with a possible arrest.

Dichter was invited to take part in a conference by a British research institute on "the day after" Annapolis. He was supposed to give an address on the diplomatic process.
Dichter contacted the Foreign Ministry and sought an opinion on the matter, among other reasons because of previous cases in which complaints were filed in Britain and arrest warrants were issued on suspicion of war crimes by senior officers who served during the second intifada.

The Foreign Ministry wrote Dichter that it did not recommend he visit Britain because of a high probability that an extreme leftist organization there would file a complaint, which might lead to an arrest warrant. The ministry also wrote that because Dichter was not an official guest of the British government, he did not have immunity from arrest.

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