Israel has finally agreed to the Palestinian Authority request to deploy hundreds of armed policemen in all West Bank cities, except of Hebron city, to crack down on crime, According to senior Israeli defense officials
A move that could revive the process of handing over more West Bank cities to PA security authority, which was halted over Israeli claims that the PA did not fulfill a commitment to disarm ‘wanted’ people in the already handed cities of Jericho and Tul-Karim.
The PA has proposed to members of armed groups in Jericho and Tul-Karim to handover their weapons, sign a pledge to commit to the cease-fire agreement, and join Palestinian security forces.
Palestinian interior ministry source said Saturday that almost all ‘wanted by Israeli security’ men in Jericho and Tul-Karim has signed the pledge, and that the process of handing over their weapons has started.
Even as Palestinian police is allowed to carry weapons, Israel insists that its army should have a free hand in entering an operating inside Palestinian cities.
Israel has warned the PA that in case army is operating inside any city, PA police should withdraw the streets back to their bases.
‘We have no illusions that [the Palestinian police] will prevent terror,’ an Israeli army source said. ‘Therefore, we are continuing to operate in the cities as necessary. But an armed presence brings back some law and order, and deters some of the armed gangs, and that is also important,’ the same source added.