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What Would Building An ‘Army Of Palestine’ Look Like?

So what will the Palestine statehood crowd prescribe as the solution? Give them more funds and more weapons, of course. Build them into a full-fledged army, disguised as a “security force.”

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By late 1998, the PA security services had in almost every regard violated the letter of the agreements reached with Israel, turning the PA-governed areas into one of the most heavily policed territories in the world. (Photo: Atia Mohammed I Flash90 via JNS)

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While some advocates of a Palestinian state have been claiming that the state would be demilitarized, others are already making the case for building up a Palestinian army.

A feature in The Washington Post this week warned that the Palestinian Authority’s security forces are not yet big enough or powerful enough for the Palestinian state that the Biden Administration is now advocating. The PA forces are “underfunded and widely unpopular [and] ill-equipped to take on the massive responsibilities that their Western backers are envisioning.”

So what will the Palestine statehood crowd prescribe as the solution? Give them more funds and more weapons, of course. Build them into a full-fledged army, disguised as a “security force.”

The excuse will be that the PA needs the money and guns to fight terrorism. Everyone seems to have forgotten that the PA was supposed to have been fighting terrorism since it was created back in the 1990s by the Oslo Accords – but it never has done the job.

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Palestinians would only have “a strong police force”

The first Oslo Agreement, in 1993, stipulated that the Palestinian Arabs would have “a strong police force” (Article VII). It didn’t say anything about the formation of an army. But the Palestinian Authority quickly exploited the opportunity. The original 12,000-man “security force” ballooned to 60,000 – and the international community didn’t say a word.

Then came Oslo II, in 1995, which spelled out more specifically that the PA security forces are obligated to “apprehend, investigate, and prosecute perpetrators and all other persons directly or indirectly involved in acts of terrorism, violence and incitement” (Annex I, Article II, 3-c). 

Not only has the PA never undertaken any serious effort to apprehend terrorists or inciters, but many members of its security forces have been directly involved in deadly terrorist activities. As recently as February 29 of this year, a junior officer in the PA security forces murdered two Israeli civilians – one of them a teenager – near the town of Eli. Again, international silence.

In fact, it’s worse than silence. Despite the involvement of PA security force members in terrorism, America’s CIA continues to provide training for their de facto army. 

EVER WONDER which countries have the largest per-capita security forces? It’s no mystery – the World Atlas lists them. Not surprisingly, the largest ones are those with the tiniest populations, thus making the size of their security forces (law enforcement) disproportionately large, such as the Vatican, Pitcairn Islands, and Monaco.

But guess who’s also up near the top of the list, even though it has a population of several million? The Palestinian Authority. The PA has the sixth-largest security force per capita in the world, with a whopping 1,250 police officers per 100,000 people.

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Back in 2018, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy published an illuminating report called “Evolution of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces.”

It revealed that “by late 1998, the PA security services… had in almost every regard violated the letter of the agreements reached with Israel,” turning the PA-governed areas into “one of the most heavily policed territories in the world.

“A proliferation of weapons was occurring, both in quantity and quality, well beyond that stipulated in Oslo II,” according to the Washington Institute report. “By one estimate, there were at least 40,000 more weapons than allowed in the agreement, including RPGs, mortars, mines, grenade launchers, and sniper rifles; also being developed was a small-scale indigenous manufacturing capacity for hand grenades and other ammunition.” 

And that was many years ago. One can only imagine what the PA has stockpiled in its arsenal by now.

Thus, in the guise of “security forces,” and in blatant violation of the Oslo Accords, a de facto Palestinian army already exists. Now it’s just a question of how much bigger it will get, and what kind of advanced weapons it will import (or smuggle in) next.

The recent talk of “demilitarization” is a ruse, a way to lull the Israeli public and world Jewry into accepting a Palestinian state. The PA’s own security forces already represent militarization in practice, and expanding them will only ensure that a future “Palestine” is more deadly.

First published in the Jerusalem Post

Moshe Phillips is a commentator on Jewish affairs whose writings appear regularly in the American and Israeli press. He was a U.S. delegate to the 38th World Zionist Congress in 2020. His views are his own. 

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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