The Arab Reform Initiative also asserted that PA security forces have been
significantly improved under a U.S. program led by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton.
The report, titled "The State of Reform in the Arab World," asserted that
Palestinian security forces in the West Bank were being professionalized and
approaching that of an army.
"The result is that this force was brought up to the level of a pre-army
with members behaving like serious professionals and where the factionalism
that plagued it since its formation has been almost eliminated," the report
Over the last 18 months, the U.S. program has trained five battalions,
all but one of them from the National Security Forces. The report said NSF
has shed most of the practices that characterized other PA security forces.
"One sign of improvement is that the National Security Force was not
involved in any arbitrary arrests, interrogations, or other bad practices,"
the report said.
The report also cited the U.S.-sponsored training of NSF battalions in a
four-month course held in Jordan. The PA has also dismissed
or retired veteran senior officers in NSF.
"The training of the National Security [Force] in particular included
laying off old leaders, bringing in new non-partisan elements and
providing them with professional training, mostly in Jordan," the report
The report said other PA security agencies have not followed NSF. The report
cited abuses by the PA's Preventive Security Apparatus and General
Intelligence, which have been mentored by the U.S.
"Of all sectors, the security sector in Palestine was most strongly
affected by the negative spiral of internal political conflict, regression
of democracy, and increased outside interference," the report said.
"Security agencies of the Palestinian Authority saw an increase of direct
outside intervention in response to the internal conflict, through enhanced
financial support, training, equipment and sharing of intelligence. When
assessing the impact of this foreign role on the professionalization and the
democratization of the sector, we see that it had both positive and negative effects."