The policing of Area C

On why giving Palestinian police the task of security in Area C (the area placed under Israeli military control after Oslo) would be better for West Bank residents, the Israeli government, and even the settlers:

‘Giving the PA more security responsibility in “C” areas could reduce the threat to settlers. The PA has already shown its commitment to muzzling Israel’s enemies through arresting thousands of suspected Hamas operatives. The militants who killed four Kiryat Arba settlers in August would have struggled to access weapons or evade the intelligence networks in a PA-controlled area.

The Israeli army recognises the need for better power sharing and co-ordination. At a restricted, local level, this is already happening. Talks are continuing over the possibility of opening a Palestinian civil police station in a “C” area of the northern West Bank.

Netanyahu’s government would improve its image by supporting such initiatives. Conceding limited security control to the PA would assert the Israeli prime minister’s independence from the settler right while winning goodwill from the international community. It would encourage the moderates without provoking the extremists.

The PA has the capacity to restore order in “C” areas and it is in Israel’s interests to allow them to. A slow-phased handover would improve security for both sides and engender better relations between the governments. The alternative is to allow “C” areas to degenerate further into violent chaos.’


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