Office of Africa and Middle East Programs: West Bank

Palestinian Authority Security Sector Reform Program

The program’s core is to train, equip, and garrison ten 500-man National Security Force (NSF) Special Battalions in the West Bank (WB). The battalions are a gendarmerie-like rapid deployment force to bolster/back up the civilian police and address other serious crimes. U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC) LTG Michael Moeller, who reports to the Secretary, leads this effort in Jerusalem in close cooperation and coordination with the Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). The USSC has developed the overall security assistance concept and strategy and helps oversee its implementation. Congress provides the funds to INL. INL ensures the program conforms to its mandate to provide law enforcement assistance, and is responsible for on-site implementation mostly through contracts and bi-lateral agreements with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Government of Jordan for training at the Jordanian International Police Training Center (JIPTC). The PA has deployed U.S.-trained security forces for law enforcement operations and crowd and riot control in Jenin, Hebron, Qalqilyah, Nablus, and Bethlehem. They had a major role in maintaining order in the West Bank during the December 2008/January 2009 Gaza war.

  • Six NSF battalions trained; four equipped and one garrisoned; a seventh will graduate in mid-2011. A 419-man Presidential Guard (PG) unit trained and equipped in 2008; another to be trained in 2011.

  • With $395M that Congress has made available since 2007, we will be able to train and equip seven, and garrison six of the ten battalions by mid-2011.

  • This program does not directly support the Civilian Police; the EU has that responsibility.

Training: Takes place in cooperation with Jordan.

  • Approximately 3,500 students trained to date; law enforcement and para-military focused.

  • NSF in large, long classes at JIPTC: 500-man battalions; 20-week long basic courses.

  • Jordan provides the trainers; the U.S. provides mentors/monitors/overseers.

  • NSF, PG, and other security forces receive leadership and specialized training in the WB.

Equipment: All must be approved by the Government of Israel.

  • Full range of non-lethal equipment to make a battalion operational.

  • Vehicles, uniforms, surveillance equipment, field and first aid gear, etc.

Infrastructure Development: Construction managed and conducted by Palestinians.

  • Funds obligated through a “Framework Agreement” signed by Secretary Rice and Prime Minister Fayyad that permits tight USG oversight.

  • Operational base for nine of the ten NSF battalions, and NSF and PG training centers in the WB.

  • NSF base camp and PG training complex constructed in Jericho; NSF base camp in Jenin and training complex in Jericho under construction.

Capacity-building: Created a small, Strategic Planning Department in the MOI.

  • Developing ability to strategically manage budget, procurement, logistics, personnel, and training for all PA security forces.

Criminal Justice: Technical assistance program underway to strengthen criminal investigators-prosecutor relations in Jenin and Ramallah; funds obligated to construct police stations.

Corrections Program: Supporting EU and UN programs with training, equipment and construction to improve prison management and corrections facilities.