Jordanian Bader Unit Arrives in Bethlehem

In a pivotal through unannounced development last week, 300 troops of the Jordanian Army’s Palestinian Al Bader Brigade crossed the Allenby Bridge into the West Bank as the harbingers of the US program for displacing the Palestinian Authority’s terror-tainted security force operated by Yasser Arafat. According to debkafile‘s military and Palestinian sources, within 24 hours of its arrival, the vanguard Jordanian force took charge of security in the Bethlehem-Beit Jala-Beit Sahur area abutting south Jerusalem, deferring directly to the new Palestinian interior minister Gen. Abdel Razzek Yahya and collaborating with US CIA and Israeli liaison officers.
Our sources report that they crossed over in civilian dress bearing Jordanian passports. In Bethlehem, they were outfitted with Palestinian police uniforms, weapons and communications equipment. The new arrivals came with their commanders, Jordanian crown officers of the al Bader Brigade, known also as the Palestinian Liberation Army. Their immediate mission was to take the place of Israeli military units in preventing cells of Arafat’s Force 17, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades from carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. They are also there to impede the infiltration of Palestinian terrorist cells from the West Bank into the Kingdom of Jordan and keep the peace in the Palestinian areas under their control.
The arrival of the Jordanian-Palestinian contingent brings to fruition the debkafile July 22, 2002 disclosure of a dramatic process initiated in Washington for the phased transfer of security-intelligence control over West Bank Palestinians from Arafat’s Palestinian Authority to the Kingdom of Jordan, a transition to be coordinated closely with Israel.
Our sources report that Gen. Yahya will shortly receive a second infusion of 500 Al Bader troops for security duties in the southernmost West Bank regions of Hebron the town and Mt. Hebron. The fresh unit is standing by at Jordanian bases close to the Allenby Bridge checkpoint, ready to move in. By the end of this month, the Jordanian Palestinian security force in the West Bank should expand to between 2000 and 3000 members, growing by the end of the year to some 5,000. The American reform plan calls for a total of 10,000 to 12,000 Al Bader Brigade troops to take up security positions in the territory by early 2003.
After spiking Arafat’s terror capabilities, the Jordanian force will tackle the breakup of his support structure.
Its discreet importation to the West Bank comes amid a major falling out between Washington and the 15-nation European Union, the Palestinian Authority’s biggest donor. Whereas a European donors’ meeting in Paris – and later in Elsinore north of Copenhagen – called for a Palestinian state by 2005 and a Palestinian Authority to be reformed under Yasser Arafat and his henchmen, the Bush administration demands a new leadership and the breakup of its security force as the prerequisite for Palestinian statehood. Perhaps tongue in cheek, the Americans advised the European donors to spend EU taxpayers’ money on vocational retraining courses for Arafat’s some 20,000 “security” officers. Instead of engaging massively in terrorism, they ask, why not train them as artisans and skilled personnel and put them to work on the task of restoring the shattered Palestinian economy?
In any case, whether EU member governments like it or not, Washington is pressing ahead single-mindedly with its own reform program. Jordanian Palestinian troops have now moved in, with Israeli consent, to act as America’s wrecking ball for dismantling Arafat’s suicide brigades and knocking over every last stone of his political and military establishment, so as to make way for a pro-American, pro-Hashemite administration.

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