For the past few days, I have been watching live news reports of the unraveling and dismantling of Hosni Mubarak police state, with officers and commanders of the “state security service” or “amn aldwla” on the run after succeeding in shredding hundreds of millions of very important files implicating the Mubarak regime in torture, cold blooded murder, invasion of privacy and abuse of citizens rights with the entire force of 1.4 million strong serving Mubarak, his cronies, business associates and his political allies. When it became clear General Ahmed Shafiq was on his way out, deliberate fires were set to offices of state security services all over the country. Citizens came to the rescue but it was too late in many instances.
Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the PLO and President of the Palestinian Authority (his term expired more than 2 years ago) forged a close partnership with both Mubarak and General Omar Suleiman making the PA an extension of Mubarak Egypt specially when it came to Hamas, the continued siege of Gaza and reliance on security services as the backbone of the regime with Ramallah becoming not so different from Cairo’s Mubarak.
Notwithstanding what we hear about ‘state buildings” and “institutional building” the future Palestinian state if and when it comes will be nothing but a police state. This was the theme of an article I posted on November 29, 2007http://www.jeffersoncorner.com/the-future-palestinian-state-will-be-nothing-but-a-police-state/ “ The future Palestinian state will be nothing but a police state”, the same theme was also the subject of an article written by Aisling Byrne dated 18 January 2011 titled “ building a police state in Palestine” that appeared in Foreign Policy http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/01/18/building_a_police_state_in_palestine
The late Yasser Arafat was so committed to the security of Israel and committed to Oslo that he made “security services” his top priority anywhere he went. On his first visit to the UK rather than seeking substantial compensation for Palestinians for crimes committed by England under its mandate and its Balfour Declaration, he could not find anything to seek support for except his security forces.
Egypt too played a major role in training the PA security forces and no doubt many of the Palestinian officers were trained at the hands of the Egyptian State Security Services learning all kinds of torture methods and violations of people’s right. The Guardian of 17 December 2009 reported the CIA playing a key role in training the same security forces overlooking the much reported torture and murder taking place in the dungeons of the Palestinian security forces. Human Rights Watch in its report dated 20 October 2010 states ” the reports of torture by Palestinian Security Services keeps rolling in”, with Sa’id Abu-Ali, the PA’s interior minister acknowledged both torture and even murder but denies it is official policy. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, el-Haq and B’Tselem all reported torture taking place within special prisons of the Palestinian Security Forces. There are reports of some 400-500 detained prisoners without charges and without trials.
As reported in the Palestine Papers, Tony Blair, the Quartette Special Envoy and a close ally and friend of Bibi Netanyahu and Israel took advantage of his position shifting the US/EU funding from economic, state and institutional building to counter-insurgency (COIN) “ with objective of degrading the capabilities of the rejectionists Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Brigade through the disruption of their leadership communication and command and control capabilities “ with 25% of the foreign funding going to the Palestinian Security Forces.
The many competing Palestinian security forces became the joke of Palestinians and the world and control of these many competing security forces became the issue of contentions between the US and the Palestinian Authority (PASSIA report dated 9 August 2004 and MIFTAH report dated 30 May 2006) when it became clear that Arafat may be losing control and is unable to deliver on promise and commitment to Israel’s security and security collaboration and cooperation with Israel. Mahmoud Abbas was pushed to take over as prime minister. Mahmoud Abbas continued to keep his commitments to Israel as Chairman of the PLO and president of the PA.
No way to underestimate the key role Palestinian Security Forces plays in keeping the Jewish Occupation and this is the main reasons that the US, EU and Mubarak Egypt were so keen in making sure the security forces fulfill the PLO’s commitment to the security of Israel, its army and its armed settlers under Oslo. That is why General Dayton was assigned to the job and that is why the security services remains the top priority of the US, Israel and the Palestinian leadership receiving more funding than education, health, transportation, social services combined.
Perhaps it will do well for Mahmoud Abbas, Salam Fayyad and Ismail Haniyeh to know that a regime built on and around “security services” will be temporary and will sooner than later, cause the collapse not only of the regime but may take the leadership to trial as criminals. It will do well for the Ramallah and Gaza leadership to learn the lessons of Tunisia and Egypt.