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The Establishment of a Palestinian Police Force in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: Brynjar Lia

One main reason why Israel decided to reach a settlement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1992-93 was the belief that violence emanating from the Occupied Territories would come to an end if the PLO were allowed to assume responsibility for internal security in the Palestinian-populated areas.! The Israeli government persuaded public opinion of the wisdom of the Oslo Accords by arguing that these would relieve the Israeli army of 'the burden of occupation'; furthermore, that PLO leader Arafat 'could combat terrorism more effectively than the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) because he does not have to worry (as the prime minister does) about the legality of his methods'.2 This in turn meant that the PLO would need a strong police force which could command respect and obedience among the Palestinians and be capable of suppressing any rejectionist groups who might want to continue the struggle against the Israeli occupation.