Palestine-info / UK – 2006-11-18 09:12:17
RAMALLAH (Oct 8, 2006) — In an apparent American step to ignite a Palestinian civil war, high-ranking Palestinian sources have unveiled that the United States was establishing a secret military camp in the West Bank city of Jericho to train the PA presidential guards (Force-17).
The concealed American step comes in the framework of preparing that force for fighting against Hamas Movement under American and Israeli directives, as the IOF troops sponsored munitions supplies to the PA presidential guards.
According to a report for the Reuters news agency, a round-the-clock effort was going on at an abandoned lot of 16,000 sq. meters in the city of Jericho to put up the proposed camp that, according to American estimates, would cost 20 million dollars.
European diplomats were quoted as saying that the money will be enough to install a similar camp in the densely populated Gaza Strip, adding that elements of the Force-17 of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas were “growing in number and quality”.
The diplomats opined that Washington will pay half of the cost while Europeans and a number of Arab countries will cover the rest of the amount, asserting that American officials were pushing Israel to allow more munitions supplies to Abbas’ forces.
Assistants of Keith Dayton, the American security coordinator in Ramallah, were courting more European countries to finance the “suspicious” project as he toured the camp with Dutch diplomats who later revealed that Holland prefers to support Abbas in a “different way”.
As reports in this regard persisted, sources in the PA presidential guards acknowledged that American military teams were secretly training the Force-17 elements over the past two months in another but smaller secret camp in the city, and that the training course will end in January next year.
The sources further unveiled that Abbas had requested more military supplies for his forces during his latest visit to Washington, especially after the short-lived mutiny carried out by vandal elements in the PA security apparatuses, including the presidential guards against the legitimate PA elected government.
Not long after Hamas Movement won the Palestinian legislative elections and formed the new PA government, IOF troops escorted trucks loaded with M16 rifles and huge amount of munitions coming from Jordan and unloaded them in the Force-17 stores in Ramallah and Gaza cities.
Israeli premier Ehud Olmert who endorsed the supplies explained, “I did that because we are running out of time and need Abbas’ help”.
Four more fully loaded trucks bound to that Force had crossed Wednesday the Kerem Shalom crossing point under the watching eye of the IOF troops guarding that terminal.
The Quds Press news agency that unmasked the new munitions supplies affirmed that they were stored in the PA security apparatuses’ complex known as “Ansar2”.
Both Olmert and the US secretary of state had championed bolstering Abbas’ force and influence in the PA-run lands with “all available means”.
But Hamas deputy in the PLC Ismail Al-Ashkar, secretary of the security and interior committee in the Palestinian legislature, considered any ammunitions supplies to the PA security apparatuses outside the law as “illegal”, adding that external dictates weren’t in favor of the Palestinian people.
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