"Aid has been given to train, reform, advise, house, and provide
non-lethal equipment for PA civil security forces in the West Bank loyal to
President Abbas in an effort both to counter militants from organizations
such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and to establish the rule of
law for an expected Palestinian state," the report, authored by analyst Jim
Zanotti, said. "A small amount of training assistance also has been provided
to strengthen and reform the PA criminal justice sector."
Dated May 31, the congressional report said the United States, under the
administrations of President George Bush and President Barack Obama, has
trained 3,700 members of the National Security Forces in Jordan. The NSF
cadets were said to have undergone a 19-week course in anti-riot and
Washington, in cooperation with such allies as Britain, Canada and
Turkey, has also financed the training of 1,000 officers from the
Presidential Guard, under Abbas' direct command. The report said the
training took place at the International Police Training Center near Amman,
The training programs for the PA have been overseen by U.S. Security
Coordinator Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller, a three-star general with staff from
Britain, Canada and Turkey. Moeller has been working with the State
Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
"The USSC and INL reportedly plan to help organize and train a total of
approximately 6,000 troops, including 10 500-man NSF battalions —
approximately seven of which have already been trained or begun training,"
the report said.
The United States was also said to have provided PA security forces with
other assistance, including intelligence skills. The report said the U.S.
training has helped improve law and order and lower the profile of
insurgency groups in the West Bank.
"However, the aspiration to coordinate international security assistance
efforts and to consolidate the various PA security forces under unified
civilian control that is accountable to rule of law and to human rights
norms remains largely unfulfilled. PA forces have come under criticism for
the political targeting of Hamas — in collaboration with Israel and the
United States — through massive shutdowns and forced leadership changes to
West Bank charities with alleged ties to Hamas members and through
reportedly arbitrary detentions of
Hamas members and supporters," the report said.
CRS did not rule out the prospect that the reconciliation agreement
between the ruling Fatah movement and Hamas would affect PA security forces.
One scenario was that Fatah-Hamas
reconciliation would spark unrest against Israel.
"How the May 2011 Fatah-Hamas power-sharing agreement may affect the
activities of PA security forces in the West Bank is unclear, although it is
possible that these activities will remain
largely unchanged until either PA presidential and legislative elections can
be held or Fatah and Hamas can agree on security coordination for both the
West Bank and Gaza," the report said. "Current
appropriations legislation prohibits the United States from providing
financial assistance to Hamas under any conditions."