Skip to comments.U.S. arming and training PA guard against Hamas
Posted on 10/30/2006 7:29:10 PM PST by Sabramerican
The Bush administration has undertaken efforts to arm and train the Presidential Guard of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in order to prepare it for a potential violent confrontation with Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip.
According to information received in Jerusalem, the American security coordinator in the territories, General Keith Dayton, appeared before representatives of the Quartet in London last week and presented them with a program for bolstering the Palestinian presidential guard. The program calls for Egyptian, British and perhaps even Jordanian instructors to train the force loyal to Abbas.
However, Palestinian sources say that the training of a "Special Presidential Guard" started already a month ago, under the guidance of an American military instructor.
The training is taking place in Jericho, at a compound near the InterContinental Hotel, and involves men from Force 17, an elite Fatah force traditionally assigned the protection of the Palestinian Authority Chairman.
According to reports, 400 Force 17 troops have been involved in the training since August.
The Palestinian Authority Chairman's office has recently barred the access of reporters to the compound.
Palestinian sources say that the training program is part of Dayton's recommended initiative for the reinforcement of Abbas' forces, and which involves the transfer of $2 million to set up the necessary training facilities.
According to foreign press reports, the United States would like to see the number of men in Force 17 grow from approximately 3,500 to 6,000. Conscripts in the force range from 18 to 22, and undergo basic training for three months. Some are then selected for the Presidential Guard.
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
War on terror? Bush Doctrine?
We have US advistors in Lebanon training their army too.
Why the hell aren't we putting everything into the battlefields that matter, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tzun Tzu... The art of war. read it.
Something like this helps me understand we don't have fools at the helm.
Because they are not the only battlefields.
Great. Another State Dept bungle a la Dr. Rice. I swear the longer you work there the dumber you must get.
That would be fine and good if we could help the Palistinians at this point in time, the reality is we can't.
So you guys find it so unrealistic that there may be minority factions within the PA that are sympathetic to the US and Isreal? Well, there are, believe it or not, just as their are in Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran. I don't know enough about Syria to make a statement on them. As for Jordan, it is the most two faced anti-Israeli component in the Middle East, followed very closely by the Saudis. There are some in the PA that are sick and tired of the rest of the Islamic worlds hypocritical treatment of Palestinians. What I am referring to is the fact that the US and Israel have given the PA and the Palestinians more aid than any Muslim country, every. Yet they continue to send their propogandists there to incite violence against Israel and the US. Similar things are happening in the Sudan. A large non-Arabic faction of Islam is being wiped out by Arab Muslims. The US and the west are being held as the facilitators of these acts. When the fact is that the rest of the Muslim world just turns it's head and ignores the attrocities these followers of the "Peaceful Religion" commit.
The hypocricy and tyranny of Islam will eventually be revealed, but not until those factions within the culture get the support they deserve to be able to come forward. This is happening slowly but surely in places like Iraq, and Afghanistan, and on a much smaller scale in PA and Lebanon. It will take a long time, and we must support efforts to support these factions.
I wouldn't be suprised if the Mossad is helping out in this case. Fatah is much easier for Israel to negoiatate with than is Hamas.
During the Iraq-Iran War, the U.S. supplied aid to both sides.
When your enemies are killing each other, you provide aid to whichever is side losing at the moment.
Every second day Fatah and Hamas are attempting to form a unity government.
This training, whoever wins between Hamas and Fatah, or if they join up, will inevitably be used against Israel.
Just a step forward to Rice's "America's Greatest Legacy".
I'm sorry, but my attention span is too short for anything but nuke 'em.
They will end up fighting Israel.
Hamas amd the PA are in the same family. If they are squabbling, it is a family fight, nothing more.
They will end up using the training and arms they are given against Israel.
It would not surpise me if a few turned up in Iraq.
Of course not. However!...as with the *cough* moderate muslims in America who say and do NOTHING about their more violent "brothers"....the same applies here.
Israel is the one who will be hurt.
No, your absolutely wrong. The same does not apply here. These PA presidential guards do not support their violent Islamic brethren and violently oppose them occasionally.
I DO hope I'm wrong and you're right!!!
Are you sure? Do you work for the State Dept? Such outright nonsense is common at State.
Exclusive: Fugitive to head PA Force 17
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided on Tuesday to appoint a security officer who had been accused by Israel of involvement in terrorist attacks as overall commander of his Force 17 "presidential guard" in the West Bank.
The decision to appoint Col. Mahmoud Damra, also known as Abu Awad, comes only days after Israel agreed to provide weapons and ammunition to Force 17 following increased threats on Abbas's life.
PA officials told The Jerusalem Post that Abbas approved the appointment of Damra in a presidential decree issued just before he left Ramallah for Tunis. They confirmed that Damra was on Israel's list of wanted terrorists, but claimed that the charges were "baseless."
"Damra is a senior Palestinian officer who was very close to the late Yasser Arafat," said one official. "He did have a role in the revolution and in the struggle against Israel, like most Palestinians. But today he is committed to the peace process and he supports President Abbas."
Damra was one of several fugitives who sought shelter in Arafat's Mukata compound in Ramallah in 2002 after Israel accused him of masterminding terrorist attacks. Damra was then commander of the Ramallah branch of Force 17 and was in charge of protecting Arafat and his top aides.
Israeli security officials said then that, since the beginning of the intifada in September 2000, Damra had led a terrorist cell in the Ramallah area that carried out deadly attacks, including shooting at vehicles, attacking communities and IDF positions and planting bombs.
In March 2004, The Daily Telegraph quoted Israeli defense officials as saying that Damra was "a commander of terrorist actions, even suicide actions."
Damra's deputy, Abu Fadih, was killed during a gun battle with soldiers in the center of Ramallah in March 2002. The IDF said then that Abu Fadih headed a Fatah cell responsible for the deaths of at least 15 Israelis.
The gunmen commanded by Damra included members of Force 17 and Abbas's Fatah party. According to the officials, Damra personally issued orders to them to carry out attacks and was in charge of supplying them with weapons and money.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office in 2001 announced the arrest of three members of Force 17 who were allegedly involved in the killing of Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane and his wife Talia in December 2000.
According to the statement, Damra was responsible for arming and instructing the three men, who were identified as Talal Ghassan, 37, a senior Force 17 member in Ramallah, Marzouk Abu Naim, 43, and Na'man Nofel.
The three were planning on carrying out additional attacks on soldiers and civilians, especially on the Ramallah-area bypass roads, on the Allon road and in Jerusalem, the statement said.
Abu Naim led his interrogators to two bombs which the cell had been planning to use.
Israeli security officials also attribute to Damra's men a shooting attack near Neveh Tzuf in November 2000 in which two soldiers and a civilian were killed, a shooting attack at the Tapuah junction in November 2001 in which one civilian was killed, and a shooting attack on Route 443 near Givat Ze'ev in December 2001 in which a civilian was killed.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.