Ozreil, head of the PA police's public relations department, said the
officers must be returned to duty as part of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation
accord. The accord called for a joint panel that would restructure PA
security forces, which would include Hamas.
"We want to implement the slogan that we have been saying for years that
the police are meant to serve the people," Ozreil told a news conference in
Brussels on May 6.
The news conference marked a PA effort to recruit Western support for a
Fatah-Hamas partnership. Hamas has been listed as a terrorist organization
by both the EU and United States.
The EU, through its EUPOL COPPS program, has spent more than $100
to enhance PA police. The programs over the last six years have included
operational and investigative skills as well as human rights training.
"We need more support and efforts coming from the whole world and the
international community to help the Palestinians to make this reconciliation
go well for the coming years," Ozreil said.
So far, Hamas has insisted that the reconciliation agreement would not
include the return of PA forces to the Gaza Strip. Hamas leaders said the
accord maintains their rule over the Gaza Strip until at least after
Both the EU and the United States have refused to endorse the
Hamas-Fatah agreement. But officials said neither Brussels nor Washington
plans to withhold recognition of any Palestinian unity government.
"EUPOL COPPS, in its specific area of responsibility which is police
security, still needs to understand what this agreement really mean and what
will be the facts on the ground before assessing anything," EUPOL mission
chief Henrik Malmquist said.