Paramilitary: August 31, 2005

Archives

The Israeli removal of the settlements from the Gaza Strip garnered much media attention, on both the left and the right. Almost all of this focused on the delicate but efficient manner in which the Israelis conducted the operation, along with coverage of Palestinian extremist posturing over the operation (with Hamas, for example, claiming that it had "forced" the Israel action). Despite this widespread coverage, the ink stained wretches of the press missed what may have been the most important part of the story, the relatively good performance of the Palestinian Authority Security Force (PASF)


During Yassir Arafat's corrupt regime, the PASF, which was directed by his brother Moussa, was little more than a gang of thugs who served to enforce Arafat's authority and as a conduit to supply arms and equipment to extremist groups, such as Hamas. This began to change with the advent of Mahmoud Abbas as head of the Palestinian Authority. 


Since assuming leadership in late 2004, Abbas has instituted a reform and professionalization of the PASF. During the Israeli evacuation operations, the PASF provided security support, channeling demonstrators away from the settlements and helping to prevent irate demonstrators from getting out of hand. Aware that many security personnel were sympathetic to the extremists, PASF leadership developed a series of clever operational plans, so that no security officer was on the same detail for more than 24 hours, and personnel frequently did not know what their assignments would be until almost literally the last moment. In addition, although there is not evidence,  or even rumors, about the matter, it seems likely that PASF staffs coordinated their activities with Israeli military and police forces, to smooth any possible obstacles.
If this program of reform and professionalization can be maintained, it will provide a strong, reliable force to underpin any future Palestinian State.

 


Article Archive

Paramilitary: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close