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The Palestinian Authority Army

Reader comment on item: Pipes criticises Middle East leaders

Submitted by Kenneth S. Besig (Israel), Feb 13, 2005 at 10:48

Machmud Abbas's Palestinian Police force is for all intents and purposes numerically larger than the Canadian Army, is probably better trained, and while somewhat more poorly equipped, it is vastly more familiar with its supposed enemies, that is, the Palestinian terrorist groups.

Indeed, since Canada has no real and immediate enemies, I would suggest that the P.A. security forces are even more militarily experienced than their Canadian counterparts, in a large part due to the fact that they have spent the past twelve years murdering Israeli civilians and attacking and killing Israeli military personnel.

The problem that Abbas faces is a problem of will, that is, the desire on his part to demand that his police forces act against the terrorists, and the willingness of his security forces to actually do this. To date there has been neither a public expression of this will nor any public attempt to either disarm the terrorists or arrest their leadership. Indeed, Abbas has met congenially and publicly several times with some of the worst members of these groups, and demanded nothing at all from them, often even requesting their political and military support.

I would suggest that these meetings say more about Mr. Abbas, the entire Palestinian leadership, and the attitude of their security forces than any of the public pronouncements of their spokesmen, or the promises they have made either to the Israeli govenment or the American Secretary of State, Ms. Rice.
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