Tuesday, October 31, 2006

U.S. training Palestinian forces

What the...?! Even though Hamas is bad, we shouldn't be backing proven murderers and vicious terrorists! This world is going mad!
U.S. preparing Abbas guard to take on Hamas

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

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.


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