CAIRO ø Egypt has submitted a three-stage security plan for the
restoration of order in the Gaza Strip and the restructuring of the
Palestinian Authority security forces.
Egyptian sources said the plan submitted to Israel, the PA and the
United States called for the deployment of between 200
and 300 trainers and technicians to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to
restructure Palestinian security forces. Under the plan, the PA security
force would total 30,000 officers employed by three Palestinian security
agencies -- police, internal security and foreign intelligence.
The Egyptian training and restructuring effort would take six months,
the sources said. They said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has asked the
United States and the European Union to finance the plan.
The plan was discussed on Wednesday during the visit by Egyptian
intelligence chief Gen. Omar Suleiman to Israel and the West Bank. Suleiman
met Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and was
scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon later in the day.
The official Egyptian Middle East News Agency said the Egyptian plan
contained three stages. MENA said the plan would seek Israeli, PA and U.S.
guarantees for the safety of the Egyptian trainers in the Gaza Strip both
during and after an expected Israeli withdrawal.
[On Tuesday, 10 Palestinian groups announced their opposition to any
Arab security role in Palestinian areas. The ruling Fatah movement did not
endorse the statement.]
In the first stage, MENA said, Suleiman would seek to win agreement from
all sides and obtain guarantees for the implementation of the agreement and
the safety of Egyptian personnel. Suleiman also planned to obtain approval
of the Egyptian timetable for its plan. This would begin with the
restructuring of PA security forces in July.
Egyptian sources said Suleiman wants to begin deployment of the security
trainers in November 2004. The sources said training of the PA forces would
take six months. During that time, the sources said, Israel would pledge not
to undertake any military missions in the Gaza Strip.
In the second stage, Egypt would oversee Israeli preparations to begin
the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and dismantle Israeli communities in the
area. MENA said the Israeli commitment would also include the dismantling of
four communities in the northern West Bank.
The third stage would ensure that Israel and the PA resume
implementation of the so-called roadmap for a Palestinian state, a plan
drafted by the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.
Egypt would also urge the deployment of a multinational force to protect
vital facilities in the Gaza Strip. They include the airport in Dahaniya and
the new sea port south of Gaza City.
Egypt intends to obtain Palestinian support for the plan when Cairo
hosts a meeting of Palestinian insurgency groups in late July. At the same
time, Egypt has asked the PA to establish an administration to facilitate
the merging of the current 13 security agencies into three units.
The sources said the Egyptian training would also include PA forces in
the West Bank. They said the effort was to ensure an integrated force in
both areas of the PA.
The agency said the plan addresses all scenarios during the Egyptian
effort to restructure the PA forces and restore order in the Gaza Strip. The
scenarios include Israeli military attacks on Palestinian insurgents and
armed opposition by such Palestinian groups as Fatah, Hamas and the Islamic
The plan also addressed the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, which
limits the number of Egyptian forces in eastern Sinai. Egypt has coordinated
with Israel, United States and the Multinational Force Organization [MFO] to
coordinate the Egyptian troop movement.