U.K. helps al-Aqsa join Palestinian forces

Nov. 19, 2004 at 8:18 AM
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JERICHO, West Bank, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- British security experts are helping Palestinian leaders merge the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and other militants into the official police force.

Britain has allocated $480,000 to rehabilitate and upgrade the Jericho Police Training Center where about 500 trainees will learn how to work together under a unified Palestinian command, the Washington Times reported Friday.

The newspaper said an anonymous source close to the project said many trainees would be al-Aqsa militants. Members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, however, have not been approached to join the official force.

"We're not going to be vetting who the Palestinians choose to bring to the training center," a senior British official said. "So it's up to the Palestinians to select who they want trained, and we have no idea who they'll choose."

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