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AP Refutes Itself

AP reports on today’s deployment of PA troops in Jenin:

Hundreds of flag-waving Palestinian troops took up positions in the former militant stronghold of Jenin on Saturday, part of President Mahmoud Abbas’ attempt to assert control over once lawless West Bank towns and encourage an Israeli withdrawal.

The Israeli military and Abbas sharply disagree over whether the Palestinian forces are ready to replace Israeli troops in the West Bank, the only area Abbas controls following the June 2007 violent takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas militants.

The West Bank city of Nablus, which several months ago became the test case for Abbas’ forces, is still raided regularly by Israeli troops searching for fugitives. Palestinian officials say such raids undermine their security forces, but Israel says Palestinian troops too often co-opt, rather than confront militants.

Jenin is the second town in which newly trained Palestinian troops were deployed in large numbers, and the city of Hebron is next.

“I hope this will be a step in the direction of restoring full (Palestinian) security jurisdiction in these areas,” said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. “So far this has not been done, and if the Israelis continue coming … to Nablus and Jenin, this would undermine our effort.”

About 480 officers from the National Security and the Presidential Guard, dressed in black and khaki uniforms, marched into Jenin. Thousands flocked to the town’s center to cheer on the forces, which will beef up the area’s existing force of 1,500 officers.

The deployment of the security forces is part of Palestinian commitments under the U.S.-backed “road map” peace plan. Abbas is to rein in and disarm militants, while Israel must freeze settlement expansion and remove dozens of illegal settlement outposts.

In violation of its commitment, Israel has issued construction bids for hundreds more homes in settlements since the relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in November. It also has failed to remove the outposts. On Friday in London, the “Quartet” of Mideast mediators — the U.S., Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — again demanded that Israel halt construction.

Of course, there’s no mention of the PA’s abject failure – and refusal – to deal with palestinian terrorism. Just the apportionment of blame to Israel.

But the bias here goes even further. The report presents the PA’s deployment as a genuine attempt to “rein in and disarm militants.” Yet, as (the Left-wing) Ha’aretz reports:

The forces, some of whom received U.S.-funded training in Jordan, will focus on capturing criminals, primarily car thieves.

And while it is true that the Jerusalem Post report includes this paragraph..

PA security commanders told The Jerusalem Post that no one would be spared during the security operation, including members of Fatah’s armed wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. “Anyone who refuses to surrender his weapons will be severely punished,” they said. “No one is above the law.

..it is a photograph (ironically) from the AP itself that makes me very much doubt the willingness of the PA security forces to act against the terrorists.

abbas-terrorists.jpg

A new member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ security forces checks his uniform in a mirror as posters showing Palestinian militants can be seen on a wall after arriving in the West Bank city of Jenin, Saturday, May 3, 2008. Hundreds of Palestinian forces took up positions in the West Bank town of Jenin, a former militant stronghold Saturday.The 480 newly trained forces with crisp uniforms and shiny weapons entered the town on Saturday. Thousands of residents flocked to the town’s center to cheer them on. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)

And they sure as hell don’t look like “Wanted” posters.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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