Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Monday, May 23, 2011     GET REAL

Obama envisions Palestinian security forces
as key to future state

WASHINGTON — The United States envisions Palestinian security forces playing a leading role in the establishment of a state in the West Bank.


The administration of President Barack Obama said Palestinian security forces would be equipped and trained in internal and border security. The White House said an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Jerusalem would be coordinated to ensure takeover by the Palestinian police and other forces.

"On security the Palestinian state must be non-militarized, and the full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces would be geared to the ability of Palestinian security forces and other arrangements as agreed to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; stop the infiltration of weapons; and provide effective border security," the White House said.

Also In This Edition

On May 19, Obama highlighted Palestinian Authority security forces as a key facilitator for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Middle East Newsline reported. The president said Palestinians must have security responsibility in such a state, but added that they would not operate a military.

"Regarding IDF deployment, President Obama said that the Palestinian state should have borders with Egypt, Jordan, and Israel, and referred to the 'full and phased' withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces," Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said. "This statement implies categorical American opposition to any open-ended Israeli presence inside the future Palestinian state. This differs from the Clinton parameters, which envisioned three Israeli 'facilities' inside the West Bank, with no time limit on their presence."

The United States, with about $200 million in aid offered in 2011, has been a leading benefactor to PA security forces. Officials said the State Department envisions a PA security force of more than 40,000, led by the U.S.-trained and -equipped National Security Forces, deemed a paramilitary force and meant to model the U.S. National Guard.

"Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security," Obama said. "The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated."

The president said the establishment of a Palestinian state should precede a full settlement with Israel. He said such issues as the demand that millions of Palestinians live in Israel as well as the future of Jerusalem should be postponed until after statehood.

"But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians," Obama said.

In his speech, Obama referred to the Fatah-Hamas agreement for a unified government and security forces. The president urged Israel to overcome its suspicion while Washington and its allies draft a formula "to get beyond the current impasse" and warned that Israel was losing its ability to defend itself.

"Technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself," Obama said.

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.