A Disaster Waiting to Happen – an exclusive report for J-Wire
A report prepared by the Israel Resource News Agency Director, David Bedein, dealing with the training and arming of Palestinian Arab Authority security forces, is about to be released imminently. This explosive expose of how millions of American taxpayers’ money is being wasted in an effort to build up a militia which at the end of the day will turn its weapons on Jewish Israelis, is about to be circulated for publication….writes Michael Kuttner.
A summary of this report, exclusive to J-Wire readers, follows.
After nearly 20 years, the Palestinian Authority, the PA, has achieved the dubious reputation of being one of the largest recipients of foreign aid per capita in modern times. However, the PA has not achieved stability, democracy, transparency or accountability. The security forces established by the PA, unsurprisingly, share a similarly dubious reputation. Despite decades of money, training and equipment from western democracies, the PA armed forces—more than 30,000 PA security and intelligence personnel—have in the main behaved little better than militias and are marked by considerable corruption.
- Throughout the course of 2012, a pattern was established in which senior commanders were increasingly allied with organized crime and renegade militias.
- This situation was exacerbated in the latter part of 2012 by a fiscal crisis.
- Abbas uses the PA security forces for his own purposes.
- None of the above issues has diluted solid Western support for Palestinian Security Forces.
As a function of Abbas’ unilateral push for a state, PA security cooperation with Israel sharply declined in November and December 2012. Palestinian officers facilitated and even aided Hamas-aligned attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers. Under President Barak Obama—who seeks to expand PA paramilitary units—the United States has pledged to continue to pour hundreds of millions of dollars a year into Abbas’ coffers, with large sums dedicated to the security forces. This is despite objections from Congress and appeals by Palestinian human rights organizations. Obama has exercised waivers to continue to fund the PA security forces.
Since 2008, the United States has provided the PA with nearly $3 billion. Once the cash payments are made by Washington, it becomes “impossible or nearly impossible to track.” The result: U.S. aid was found to be funding Palestinians who were deemed by the US to be terrorists – via the PA budget. The State Department was not seen as making any genuine effort to prevent security funds from reaching members of terrorist organizations. In 2007, the U.S. Agency for International Development, which funds UNRWA refugee camps controlled by Hamas, concluded that it was unable to “reasonably ensure” that assistance was not ending up in the hands of terrorist organizations.
The nightmare of the Israel Army is that the PA, directed by the ruling Fatah movement, would reconcile with Hamas and begin joint operations against Jews. The biggest threat to the Israel Army stems from the PA forces trained by the United States since 2008. Israeli military intelligence regards the eight National Security Forces battalions trained in Jordan under U.S. sponsorship as a “significant military force.”
There are indications that there is increasing coordination between Fatah and Hamas in planning attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians. President Barack Obama has not halted or slowed down U.S. aid to the PA – even after it successfully sought non-state membership in the United Nations. Moreover, U.S. diplomats have refused to acknowledge increasing PA civil rights violations, which have been attributed to the PA security forces that are trained by the US. The administration has also opposed moves in Congress to stop funding PA security programs.
The difference between the 1987 uprising and the next one is that the PA has some 30,000 active troops and another 36,500 on the payroll. Hamas has at least 25,000 fighters in the Gaza Strip and thousands of armed men in PA controlled areas. The prospect that any civil uprising would remain limited to stones or even firebombs appears nil. With Palestinian arsenals brimming with weapons and advanced U.S. security equipment, Israel could find itself fighting a war against Palestinians who are armed, trained and financed by its greatest ally – the United States.
In order to drive home the serious implications of this report, the Israel Resource News Agency plans to produce a documentary which will dramatically illustrate the dangers facing Israelis. However a lack of adequate funding means this cannot proceed at present. If you are appalled at the prospect of murder and mayhem being carried out in the near future by militias funded by the USA & the EU and the refusal of those donors to draw the logical consequences, please help to enable this documentary to be produced. Details of how you can contribute are contained on this link:
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and works for The Israel Resource News Agency in Jerusalem