Israeli and Palestinian police chiefs pledge deeper cooperation
Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian police chiefs conclude three-day summit in West Bank city of Jericho on Wednesday, hailing progress • Palestinian police chief invites Israeli Commissioner Yohanan Danino to give lecture to PA police officers.
Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff
Palestinian police in the West Bank city of Ramallah during a training session organised by the EU Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories [Archive]
Photo credit: AP
Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino
Photo credit: Dudu Grunshpan
Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian police chiefs concluded a three-day summit in the West Bank city of Jericho on Wednesday, lauding progress in cooperation and pledging to conduct more joint crime-busting activities.
The police chiefs of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan held three meetings in the past 18 months, joined by U.S. police chiefs from different states, to upgrade policing strategies in the region.
"As you all know, crime these days has no limits, has no borders, and of course for all police forces in the whole world, their job is to counter this violence, to counter crime. We are gathered here for this reason and for this reason only -- how we are going to be able to improve the ways that we are using to counter crime, in different ways and different levels," Palestinian police chief Hazem Attallah said.
Attallah's Israeli counterpart, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, was optimistic about the progress made and the possibility for joint Israeli-Palestinian police operations.
"We have [made] a lot of progress. We feel it not only in the working groups, not only on the issues that we mentioned. We feel it in our relations on a daily basis when you need something, we have a lot of examples, that we used these relations for the good of our people in [the entire] area," Danino said.
The PA's police force have jurisdiction only in areas under full Palestinian Authority control, comprising around 22 percent of the West Bank.
The rest of the West Bank is supposed to be jointly policed, and over half of the West Bank -- Area C -- remains under full Israeli authority.
Cooperation between the forces could make policing in all areas more effective and lower crime and accident rates, which are highest in those zones shared by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.
"We're going to now create something new; we are going to start with mutual patrols, with Palestinian police and Israeli police that will work on this area that nobody actually works there. That's one of the solutions that we found in this conference," Danino said.
Israeli and Palestinian police have held other meetings in recent years, including one in 2011 facilitated by the European Union, where the two forces trained together on evidence gathering and drug trafficking. Attallah said the level of cooperation in this latest round of meetings was very visible.
"It was the first time with a Palestinian chief of police standing in the Israeli police academy to give a lecture. I think this is part of the success. I have invited Commissioner Danino to come and give a lecture to our officers. This is the kind of progress that we are talking about," Attallah said.
The joint police summit concluded a day after the latest round of peace talks resumed between Israel and Palestinian negotiators.