Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Brits in Gaza...

According to Haaretz, plans for British security assistance to the Palestinian Authority are already underway. "With grudging consent from the Americans, the British are now setting up two new operation control rooms, one in Ramallah and one in Gaza, for Palestinian security organizations. The money that Britain is spending is earmarked for the purchase of a new communications system, ancillary equipment and vehicles. The new operations room in Ramallah has already been completed and the facility in Gaza will be completed soon." We are apparently making an effort to help wallop Hamas, thus (hopefully) reducing the chances of either further suicide bombings or Israeli raids. And furthering peace. I'd be the first to call it fantastic, but there are some flies. There has recently been some talk of UK military advisers being sent. That sounds like a hiding to nothing to me - no power to give orders, a target for continued Israeli air raids and armoured drives, and a target for the terrorists. Wonderful.

Not that Haaretz's Ze'ev Schiff noticed it, though. He was more concerned with our outrageous ingratitude in telling Yasser Arafat about it:
"Experts in Israel believe that the British have sincere intentions, but harbor immense suspicion of the Palestinians. It is strange that Britain is prepared to cooperate with Arafat on security matters, since he has declined to take a single step toward implementing reforms in the Palestinian security organizations (among other things, reducing the number of men under arms, and ensuring their genuine subordination to the prime minister or the interior minister). The fact that he is the boss and that everything has to go through him, including all security matters, does not justify cooperation with him under these conditions. If the postponed meeting between Qureia and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon takes place and Qureia raises the matter, he will presumably be met with a negative answer to the proposal for cooperation, in the same way that were he to request that he be consulted on the disengagement plan, this too would be turned down."

Obviously, we are all meant to conveniently forget that the US does not appoint the Palestinian government. He was elected, dammit! And I really don't want to hear any more about soft Europeans and Brits who won't risk their skins, got that? Good luck to the advisers - they'll need it..

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