CIA set to oversee the PA-Israel security cooperation (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Aluf Benn 01/30/05)
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The Central Intelligence Agency is set to resume its role in security
coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in an
effort to stabilize the situation in the territories, senior
officials said yesterday.
The Bush administration has been eager to establish a mechanism that
will prevent the escalation of sporadic violent incidents into yet
another total conflagration between the two sides.
More specifically, the U.S. is concerned about an extreme Israeli
reaction to acts of Palestinian violence that are initiated by groups
interested in undermining the diplomatic process.
As such, U.S. officials would like to see a stabilization on the
ground at this critical juncture, when terrorist acts are at a
minimum, and find ways of neutralizing the effect of any possible
This the Americans believe can be done through the revival of a
tripartite consultative group, headed by officials of the CIA in the
area, and including Israeli and Palestinian security officials.
CIA chief Porter Goss and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley
discussed the matter with Shin Bet head Avi Dichter when he visited
the American capital.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom had similar talks in his meetings with
Hadley, and the same message was brought by outgoing State Department
chief of the Middle East section, William Burns, in talks in
However, during weekend deliberations at the Defense Ministry, no
enthusiasm was expressed at the possibility of a revived three-way
security coordination mechanism.
The tripartite security coordination meetings were set up as a result
of the 1998 Wye Accord and collapsed at the start of the intifada in
late September 2000.
Nonetheless, the conclusion of the discussions at the Defense
Ministry suggest that if the U.S. is keen to revive the mechanism and
asks Israel to participate, there is no possibility that Jerusalem
Sources say it is not clear whether the Palestinian Authority
Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will be interested in cooperating with the
United States in matters of security.
In their talks with senior American officials, Israel took the stance
that any progress on the issue will depend on the effort undertaken
by the PA in preventing terrorism, and in dealing with perpetrators
of terrorist acts and punishing them.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and senior Palestinian Authority
security official Mohammed Dahlan met late last night in an effort to
achieve further progress on matters of security coordination.
The two men concentrated on the sensitive security situation in the
West Bank and sources close to the talks said that the possibility
exists that Israel will transfer security responsibility of major
towns to the PA in a week.
The Mofaz-Dahlan meeting was also part of paving the way for the
meeting between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and PA Chairman Mahmoud
Abbas, scheduled for the second week of February. (© Copyright 2005
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