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14 Apr 2009 - 11 Aug 2019
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In-Depth Coverage
West Bank/Gaza
Middle East Peace Process
U.S. Middle East Policy
Original Commentaries
The Economic Piece of the Puzzle  —Robert Drumheller, vice president of structured finance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Interview with Middle East Bulletin.
Turkey’s Local Elections: Erdoğan’s Miscalculation  —Steven A. Cook, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, Council on Foreign Relations. Original Commentary for Middle East Bulletin.
An Analysis of Possibilities  — Ziad Majed, researcher, Sciences Po; founding member, Democratic Left Movement in Lebanon. Interview with Middle East Bulletin.
Setting the Record Straight
Economic Progress: Necessary But Not Sufficient
“By all accounts, the political terrain is simply not ripe for closure on a final status agreement … the effort to arrive at final status as managed by the current Israeli leadership has mainly yielded Israeli concessions but few, if any, reciprocal Palestinian ones … What then should be done instead? One can delineate some ‘spaces’ for doable progress. The first … is the promotion of economic activity and projects that could quickly improve conditions in the Palestinian areas.”
—Uzi Arad, director, Israeli National Security Council, “Doing What is Doable,”, November 24, 2008
“All Israeli leaders are and always were in favor of economic development in the [Palestinian] territories, but ‘economic peace’ and development without a diplomatic process is nothing but a slogan. Without a diplomatic horizon, there are enough extremists out there who understand the pitfalls and attempt to sabotage any development with terrorist attacks. In response, we must defend ourselves, but fighting terrorism is done using the most anti- economic measures: checkpoints, roadblocks, curfews etc. The result is going back to square one.”
—Gen. (Ret.) Danny Rothschild, president, Israeli Council on Peace and Security; former coordinator of government activities in the Palestinian territories, lecture, Geneva Initiative headquarters, January 13, 2009 (translated by Middle East Bulletin)
Middle East Analysis
It’s Now or Nothing for Palestine Peace —Ziad Asali, president & founder, American Task Force on Palestine (The Daily Star)
Beyond Reconstruction: What Lies Ahead for Young Palestinians? —Navtej Dhillon, director, Middle East Youth Initiative, The Brookings Institution.
Beyond the Banks —Thomas L. Friedman (The New York Times)
Upcoming Events
WATCH: Prospects for a Two-State Solution: Understanding Challenges and Creating Opportunities
Featured panelists:
Brigadier General (Ret.) Ilan Paz, former head of the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank (2002-2005)
Ghaith al-Omari, advocacy director, American Task Force on Palestine; advisor, Middle East Progress; former advisor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Discussion moderated by:
Brian Katulis, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, advisor, Middle East Progress
When: Friday, March 20, 2009
Program: 9:00am to 10:30am
Palestinian Security Sector Development
April 7, 2009
At the end of 2005, Lieutenant General Keith W. Dayton was named United States Security Coordinator (USSC) for the Palestinian Authority and posted in Jerusalem. His mission is “the transformation and professionalization of the Palestinian security forces,” the enhancement of law and order and the improvement of security for Palestinians and Israelis. After Hamas took control of Gaza in June 2007, the focus of Dayton’s mission shifted to assisting the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to rebuild its forces in the West Bank.
The USSC oversees a program for training the National Security Forces (NSF), which serves as the military civil police, and the Presidential Guard, an elite force established to protect top officials and guests. The goal of the program is to have an NSF battalion based in each of the eight West Bank cities. In addition to the training and development of Palestinian security forces, the USSC assists in facilitating coordination between the new Palestinian forces and Israeli defense officials.
The efforts of the USSC are parallel to and coordinated with the European Union Police Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUCOPPS) program, which handles the training of the police forces, the largest component of the security forces.
In July 2007, the U.S. Congress approved $86 million for the training of Palestinian security personnel; some of the funding has been spent on personal gear and protective equipment, but none has gone to lethal weapons. Between October and September 2008, an additional $75 million was allocated for senior leadership courses, infrastructure and training in Jordan. The next phase of the security plan is underway—the training of security personnel under Palestinian command in Palestinian territory.
National Security Forces
• Currently, approximately 1,600 NSF personnel have completed training in Jordan and and 500 are in training.
• Security forces not trained under General Dayton’s program were deployed in Nablus in November 2007 and in Bethlehem in December.
• In May 2008 NSF forces were deployed in Jenin as the first part of a plan to install newly trained NSF in the West Bank.
• In September 2008, the second group of NSF, made up of 500 members, began U.S.- training in Jordan.
• A contingent of 550 Palestinian policemen and officers, some trained by the USCC, was deployed in Hebron in October 2008.
• Palestinian security forces, including NSF and Palestinian police, are actively deployed in: Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem and parts of Hebron.
Presidential Guard
• The Presidential Guard has 1,800 members.
• As of December, two to three battalions were deployed. One battalion did a refresher course in Jordan.
• On March 15, 2009, a new $10.1 million Presidential Guard training center opened in Jericho. It has the capacity to train 700 officers.
Other Coordination and Training
• USSC supported the establishment of a Strategic Planning Department within the Interior Ministry in Ramallah to enhance coordination and reduce overlap among the Palestinian Authority security forces.
• General Dayton established training courses for senior Palestinian security personnel to teach effective coordination between branches. The first class of 36 majors, lieutenant- colonels and colonels graduated in December 2008.
Future Plans
• A new National Security Force operations camp is scheduled to open in the near future in Jericho.

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