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600 PA Troops Approved for Jenin

ehud barak3.jpg(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

While Israel insists it will maintain security control of Jenin, a PA autonomous city, during Wednesday’s meeting with Palestine Authority Prime Minister Salim Fiad; Defense Minister Ehud Barak is expected to approve the deployment of 600 armed PA police.

During a Tuesday morning visit to the IDF’s Bakum Base, Barak stressed the move will assist in advancing talks with the PA, adding that at the end of the day, Israel is ultimately responsible for the security of its citizens and this remains atop of all other considerations.

The 600 police, which in the past proved be more in line with a paramilitary force, will enter Jenin as did 500 troops into Shechem, with Israel insisting they will not replace ongoing IDF activities, but will be responsible for maintaining civilian law and order – not engaging in counter-terror operations.

Barak during his Bakum visit admitted the move does not enhance security considerations, but expressed hope it would advance negotiations with the PA. This contradicts his statement that security for the country’s residents remains his highest priority.

The move seems timed just a few days before the scheduled arrival of US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who next week will meet with Israeli and PA leaders in the hope of compelling the sides to move ahead towards an agreement – a move that would bring a badly-needed trophy to the White House.

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