U.S. Report: Palestinian Police Weak, In Disarray – ZOA: Should Israel Leave Gaza In Hands Of PA Police?
July 29, 2005

New York — An 83-page report, “Palestinian Security Assessment,” conducted by the Strategic Assessments Initiative, a Washington-based security analysis and conflict resolution think tank, in coordination with General William E. Ward, the American coordinator of the effort to overhaul Palestinian security apparatus and the PA, has concluded that the PA security forces are “divided, weak, overstaffed, badly motivated, and under-armed…lack the capacity and capability to fulfill core functions…and is undermined by corruption and rivalry between security chiefs…has no coherent communications network…has created a risk of divergent security objectives and a lack of coordination and doctrine…nor does the formal structure take account of the powerful role of Palestinian clans in various security forces, the chaotic nature of Fatah or of local powers in individual refugee camps.” The report’s conclusions were that the Palestinian security forces are in such disarray they may not be able to fill the vacuum left by Israel after it withdraws from Gaza.

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA has long argued that this Gaza withdrawal/expulsion plan rewards terrorism and will not bring peace. The new report makes it clear that after Israel leaves Gaza, the PA police will have neither the will nor capability of stopping the smuggling of arms from Egypt into Gaza, of closing the bomb factories, of stopping Hamas, Fatah and other terror groups from launching mortars and missiles into Israel.

“After Israel leaves, Gaza may well become a Hamas/Fatah terror enclave who will now be even closer to numerous Israeli towns near Gaza. In preparation for the increased danger, these towns are building concrete roofs and installing new red alert systems for missiles.

“This report makes it even more clear that it is the height of folly to give away Gaza to an Palestinian Authority police force that will permit terror cells to flourish and operate freely.

“The facts in this US report will make it likely that Israel will be forced to go back into Gaza to destroy the terror enclaves. How many Israeli lives will this cost? Those who advocate the withdrawal plan should pay careful attention to this report and realize that the Gaza Plan may cost large numbers of Israeli and Palestinian lives.

“It is also worth noting that a long list of Israeli military and intelligence figures have issued similar warnings, including former General Security Chief Ami Ayalon, former Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence Yaacov Amidror, former Air Force Commander Gen. Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon, former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Uzi Dayan, former IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Shlomo Gazit and former Mossad heads Ephraim Halevy and Shabtai Shavit. Only a few days ago, the General Security Service/Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin also told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that terrorism would continue and likely increase in the wake of this withdrawal.

“As General Yaacov Amidror, former head of the Israel Defense Forces research intelligence assessment division, has observed, “leaving Gaza creates a dangerous possibility that Gaza will become a ‘Hamastan’ which will provide a safe haven in Gaza for al-Qaeda … including operational, logistical and financial sanctuary there. Implementing this Gaza Plan is making less and less sense. It will not bring peace but only more terror. We urge Israel and the U.S. to postpone the withdrawal and rethink all the issues involved.”

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