PA can ‘re-activate’ 3,500 of its 15,000 ex-security force members in post-war Gaza, Palestinian official tells ToI

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Illustrative: Palestinian police in the West Bank (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Illustrative: Palestinian police in the West Bank (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

The Palestinian Authority will initially be able to “re-activate” at least 3,500 of some 15,000 former members of its security forces in Gaza, a Palestinian official tells The Times of Israel.

The figure was reached in an assessment that the PA conducted in recent weeks amid a US-encouraged effort for it to eventually return to governing Gaza after losing elections to Hamas in 2005 and being booted from the Strip two years later.

The official says more ex-PA troops will eventually be able to bolster the first several thousand but that they and others will need additional training.

A senior Biden administration official briefing reporters says, “There are a number of security personnel in Gaza linked to the Palestinian Authority who we think might be able to provide some sort of nucleus in the many months that follow the overall military campaign.”

The official says that the PA security forces have “performed incredibly well” in the West Bank, thwarting an effort by Hamas to use cells in the territory to “instigate violence and uprising in the days after October 7.”

Through its US Security Coordinator in Jerusalem Gen. Mike Fenzel, the US has helped train the PA security forces and its work with them has continued through October 7, the senior administration official says.

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