Monday, October 29, 2007

How Many Men Does It Take To Police The West Bank?

If you answered 60,000--you were off by 30,000. The police force in the West Bank is being cut in half. And therein lies a problem:
[Businessman Abdel Karim] Darwish warned that the dismissal of thousands of policemen could have serious repercussions on the Palestinians.

Unemployed policemen, especially those who are young, might find a new home with other hostile Palestinian groups, he said, referring to Hamas. He added that the best solution would be to ask the Gulf countries to absorb many of the unemployed policemen.

According to the new PA plan, all policemen over the age of 45 would be forced into retirement. In addition, thousands of men and women whose names appear on the payroll of the security forces but don't do any work would be fired immediately. [emphasis added]
Unemployed policemen might joint "other" hostile groups? Considering what the Palestinian police actually do, that of course is accurate. That being the case, why would Karim think that other countries--who are not nearly as supportive of Palestinian Arabs as they themselves out to be--want to absorb terrorists into their police force?

More importantly, why now of all times is Abbas doing this at a time when the discontent and increased instability that is going to result can only further cast doubt on the Annapolis summit?

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