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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09AMMAN676 2009-03-16 16:34:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

JORDANIAN TRAINING OF PALESTINIAN SECURITY FORCES

Tags:   PREL PHUM PTER KISL JO 
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1. (U) Independent daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm criticized
U.S.-sponsored training of Palestinian Security Forces in
Jordan in a March 9 editorial, suggesting a pause in activity
given Israeli settlement activity and its recent operations
in Gaza. The article by managing editor Fahd Khitan charged
Jordan with rendering a service in favor of Fatah against
Hamas. Jordan originally agreed to train Palestinian
Security Forces as part of its efforts to support the peace
process and the two-state solution, which would secure
Jordan's demographic and national security on the strategic
level, according to Khitan. The presence of a qualified
Palestinian security force in the West Bank has, however,
become "cover for Israel to implement its settlements
projects without any resistance," according to Khitan. It
also allowed Abbas to crack down on Palestinians protesting
against Israel's operations in Gaza.



2. (U) As a result, Israel "strongly supported" the
administration increase of the training budget for the
Palestinian police in Jordan "by 70 percent to reach a total
of 130 million dollars this year, compared to 75 million last
year," according to Khitan. (Note: These figures reflect the
overall budget of the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC) in
Jerusalem rather than the funds allocated for training in
Jordan. End note.) Under these circumstances, it is not in
Jordan's interest to continue training the Palestinian
Security Forces, Khitan asserted. The presence of qualified
Palestinian security forces in the West Bank has in fact
increased the threat of Jordan being called upon to enlarge
its role in the West Bank, he added, playing on Jordanian
fears that involvement in the West Bank would be a step
toward Jordan becoming an alternative to a Palestinian state.



3. (C) Comment: The Government of Jordan (GOJ) and its
Public Security Directorate (PSD), which conducts the
training of the Palestinian Security Forces in cooperation
with the USSC in Jerusalem, LTG Keith Dayton, have previously
stressed their desire to keep their involvement from being
discussed publicly. While the government-aligned Jordan
Times mentioned the training in a March 6 article in the
context of the administration's plan to increase the budget,
public criticism of Jordan training the Palestinian Security
Forces has so far been limited to this one article.

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