Cairo Calls for Unified Palestinian Security Force

Published April 02, 2004, issue of April 02, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Egypt has mediated a deal to divide responsibilities and spheres of influence between Jibril Rajoub, the current national security adviser to Yasser Arafat, and Mohammed Dahlan, former head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Services in Gaza, as Cairo moves ahead with its plan to create a unified security force in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority and forge a unified Palestinian leadership to present to the United States.

Palestinian sources, reporting on the reconciliation between the two former rivals, said earlier this week that the Egyptian plan calls for the new command to take control of all the P.A. armed forces and use them to take action against armed factions that try to continue terrorist strikes against Israel.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, slated to meet with President Bush two days before the American leader’s April 14 parley with Prime Minister Sharon of Israel, wants to present a unified Palestinian leadership, which would include former Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas and the current premier, Ahmed Qurei, as well as P.A. chairman Yasser Arafat.

Until April 2002, when the Israeli military destroyed the headquarters of the West Bank Preventive Security Service, which Rajoub headed, he was considered the strongman of the West Bank and a favorite of the Israelis and Americans. Rajoub and his Gazan counterpart, Dahlan, who was also favored by Israel and the United States, were bitter rivals. When the Israeli military conquered Rajoub’s West Bank headquarters in the Ramallah suburb of Beitunia, Dahlan claimed that Rajoub had surrendered to the Israelis. Following the accusation, Arafat fired Rajoub.

Since then, Rajoub has successfully fought cancer and regained his prominent position in the P.A.

If Rajoub and Dahlan have managed to overcome their differences, they could reassert P.A. control over law and order in the territories. Sources close to both sides said the two had not so much reconciled as they had “reduced the tension between them by defining spheres of responsibility.”

Meanwhile, seven months after his resignation as prime minister, Abbas blames the collapse of his government on Arafat and refuses to meet with the P.A. chairman. Abbas has also stopped participating in leadership sessions of Arafat’s Fatah faction.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.