PA Security on verge of collapse?
Yet another thing that cannot be blamed on Israel.
The Palestinian Authority security forces are on the verge of collapse because of rampant corruption and growing anarchy, according to a letter sent by a large group of PA security officers to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The letter, the first of its kind since Abbas was elected earlier this year, reflects growing resentment among the various branches of the PA security forces. It also contradicts claims by Abbas and senior PA leaders that they have taken practical steps to reform the security forces.
The timing of the letter coincides with the first anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat and is seen as an attempt to embarrass Abbas by portraying him as a weak leader who has failed to deliver.
In their letter, the officers said they rejected pressure from Israel and the US to crack down on local militias.
"We are the soldiers of the homeland, not [US security coordinator] General William Ward," they wrote. "We are neither a branch of the Israeli Shin Bet nor members of a hired gang serving certain centers of power."
But what is perhaps most worrying, as far as Abbas is concerned, is the fact that the officers went on to stress that their weapons would be used only against Israel and suspected "collaborators."
Addressing Abbas, the officers said: "We urge you to get acquainted with what's really happening inside the security forces, which have begun disintegrating because of corruption, mismanagement and placing private interests above the national interests of the people, especially with regard to the state of lawlessness prevalent in the Palestinian territories."
The officers also scoffed at the PA's efforts to consolidate the security forces by reducing their number from more than a dozen to three and retiring veterans.
"These measures have led to dissent among the security forces," they said. "Unless you [Abbas] start paying attention to the situation, the Palestinian security forces will collapse, only to be replaced by armed gangs which the Palestinian Authority won't be able to control."